The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $4 billion “Cash for Clunkers” bill on June 9 that is aimed at both increasing fuel economy of cars and bailing out the beleaguered U.S. auto industry. Of course, there’s no guarantee the subsidy would help U.S. automakers, who have generally specialized in larger, gas-guzzling sport-utility vehicles and luxury automobiles in recent years. The $4 billion subsidy, which is expected to be drawn from February's $787 billion federal economic stimulus package, may end up subsidizing purchases from Toyota, Honda and other foreign manufacturers that specialize in fuel economy.
There may soon be more “penumbras formed by emanations” in the invisible, unpredictable “living Constitution” if President Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, should play a significant role in shaping the evolution of legal doctrine on the nation’s highest court.
On April 29, Congress passed a nonbinding $3.56 trillion budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year. The resolution (S. Con. Res. 13) first passed the House on a vote of 233-193, followed by Senate passage by 53-43. Not one Republican in either house voted for the measure, but 17 Democrats voted against it in the House and four in the Senate.
"Second verse, same as the first," go the lyrics to a '60s Herman's Hermits song about Henry VIII and repetition ad naseum. And so it goes with a new wave of Republican rumblings about a second Obama-era stimulus package that Democrat Nancy Pelosi and company are now publicly pondering.