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Congress: Clunkers set for passage

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says there will be a vote, and GOP Sen. Jim DeMint doesn't plan to block it.

Video: CNBC's Squawk box discusses proposed legislation that would pay car buyers up to $5,000 for trading in their old clunker and buying a new, fuel-efficient auto that was assembled in the U.S.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus now says there needs to be a deadline for health care. "'We need a deadline,' Baucus told Roll Call after a meeting between the Senate Democratic Conference and President Barack Obama at the White House. Baucus said the deadline would be 'around Sept. 15,' adding that he hoped Republicans would come around to the idea." 

Video: Health industry lobbyists have been disrupting town hall gatherings around America to prevent the spread of information about health care reform. Rachel Maddow is joined by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-TX.

This isn't going to help those moderate Democratic House members who voted for climate-change legislation... "With the fight over health care reform absorbing all the bandwidth on Capitol Hill, Democrats fear a major climate change bill may be left on the cutting-room floor this year. A handful of key senators on climate change are almost guaranteed to be tied up well into the fall on health care. Democrats from the Midwest and the South are resistant to a cap-and-trade proposal. And few if any Republicans are jumping in to help push a global warming and energy initiative." 
 

Video: Rep. Chris Van Hollen joins Countdown's Keith Olbermann to talk about health care negotiations in the House and how important a role bipartisanship will play in getting legislation passed.

House Democratic leaders have a strategy for countering protesters attempting to disrupt Members' town-hall meetings on health care over the August recess: Do nothing… House Democratic leaders are banking on the opposition buckling under its own weight and say their Members, even the most vulnerable, are ready for a partisan assault. ... Van Hollen predicted that the groups' more dramatic tactics -- which have included the display of Nazi signs, a hanging effigy of Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Md.) and a tombstone bearing the name of Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) -- will 'backfire in a big way' because their aim is to keep citizens from having a conversation about health care." 
 
Hypocrisy watch? "Last year, lawmakers excoriated the CEOs of the Big Three automakers for traveling to Washington, D.C., by private jet to attend a hearing about a possible bailout of their companies," Roll Call reports. "But apparently Congress is not philosophically averse to private air travel: At the end of July, the House approved nearly $200 million for the Air Force to buy three elite Gulfstream jets for ferrying top government officials and Members of Congress. The Air Force had asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet (price tag: about $65 million) as part of an ongoing upgrade of its passenger air service."