McCaskill tempers opposition to 'Clunkers'

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has cooled her once vigorous opposition to an extension for the money-starved "Cash for Clunkers" program, saying that she now considers the matter a "tough call."

"This is a tough call, but at least wanted to let eveyone (sic) know that I'm studying all of it and trying to make a decision that is not rushed, but thoughtful," McCaskill wrote on her blog Tuesday.

Last week, the centrist Democrat tweeted that she "will vote no on any extension of Cash for Clunkers program."

Now McCaskill has taken a more measured approach. She reached out members of the auto industry to discuss issues facing a prolonged version of the program. McCaskill tweeted late Tuesday night:
Still getting info on C4C. Phone calls to Mo car deaers today getting their view.Need to know how many deals are in the pipeline.

Also worried about inventories.Chrysler dealer today told me inventory low,& we could be pushing his customers to foreign if we extend.

Will push tomorrow for GM, Chrysler,& Ford available inventory,and if we extnd can progrm be closed down without penalizing dealer/consumer?

Of course the cash for clunkers program is popular, we're giving away money. My concerns are first, that we...

The junior senator linked to the aforementioned blog post, saying "I realize all car sales, both foreign and domestic, are good for the economy, but I hate the idea that there may not be a level playing field for the next few weeks because of inventory issues."

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that the upper chamber will extend the "Cash for Clunkers" program before recess commences over the weekend. Reid made his remarks after the Senate Democratic Caucus lunched with President Barack Obama.

Cross-posted to the Twitter Room

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