From NBC's Ken Strickland
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted that the Senate will vote on the "cash for Clunkers" funding bill before the end of the week. "What I anticipate is that it will be completed before the end of the week," he said at his weekly press avail.
McConnell explained that part of an agreement to move to a final vote on the bill would allow Republicans to offer amendments. "There are a series of amendments that I think our members think would improve the proposal," he said. But passage of an amendment would make the Senate bill different from the House bill -- and that's the potential problem.
Why? Well, open your "U.S. Government" text books here:
In order for bill to become law, the Senate and the House have to pass the exact same bill -- not a word can be different. The House has already passed its bill and adjourned for the summer. If the Senate passes a different bill, the House would either have to come back off recess to pass it (which is unlikely) or wait until after recess to pass it in September.
Senate Democrats will need to defeat all Republican amendments in order to get the $2 billion out the door fast. A Republican aide suggested the Democratic line against passing amendments would go something like this: "Let's not pass the amendment because it will delay the money. We'd be happy to address it after recess."