Cash For Clunkers Bill Heads to the U.S. Senate - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cash For Clunkers Bill Heads to the U.S. Senate

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TRI-CITIES, Wash-- A new bill supported by President Obama, would give owners of clunker cars cash to buy new one's. It just passed in the House and now it moves to the Senate.

This bill would give owners of beater cars up to $4,500 to trade it in and buy a more fuel-efficient car. The old car would then be smashed, not resold.

KNDU talked to two businesses this bill could affect. Leskovar Motors and Pasco Auto Wrecking.

Politicians supporting this $4 billion program say it's outcome is two-fold. It could help the environment by getting pollution-causing cars off the road, and it could lower our demand for foreign oil, and help the ailing auto industry.

"It's just an incentive for people who have a low gas mileage car to trade it in for a higher gas mileage car," said Jeff Leskovar, Owner of Leskovar Motors.

If your car gets 18 miles to the gallon or less you could trade it in and buy a new one that gets four miles or better. The government would take $3,500 off that price.

If you bought a car that improved your gas mileage by ten gallons, you could get $4,500.

"You lower the price by three to four thousand dollars, it's going to bring people in," said Leskovar.

These cars once got their drivers from point a to point b, now they are at the graveyard for junkers in the Pasco Auto Wrecking lot. Pretty soon they may be smashing a lot more cars.

"There's a lot of things you can use a smashed car for, so it's never a car that you take it down and leave it right here. No they melt it down and use every," said Oscar Movera, Pasco Auto Wrecking.

Movera says they pay $150 for the car and can make almost $3,000 on selling the parts. He worries this bill could hurt families that can't afford newer cars.

"A family, a husband and wife with eight kids letting go of their 1998 Tahoe and buying a 2008 Tahoe, your talking about a $60,000 car when they are only making minimum wage," said Movera.

To qualify for the program the car must be a 1984 model or newer and must have been insured by the same owner for a year, plus it stills needs to pass the Senate.