TRENTON – Senate President Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) today asked the members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to consider extending the federal government’s successful “Cash for Clunkers” program to active duty military personnel who were deployed during the duration of the program and unable to take advantage of its benefits.
“This program was incredibly popular, more so than I think anyone ever anticipated,” said Sen. Codey. “So I think it’s only fair that our men and women overseas, the ones who give of themselves day in and day out for their country, should at least be given the opportunity to take advantage of this program when they return.”
In a letter sent to all 15 members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation today, Codey highlighted the many benefits of the program, while also pointing out that over 200,000 military personnel have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan while the program was offered, thereby missing out on eligibility. Codey urged New Jersey’s delegation to work together with their colleagues in Congress to make the program available to all returning active duty military personnel over the next several years.
“Particularly with our involvement in Iraq winding down, we will have a number of military personnel returning back to their civilian lives, many seeking jobs and in need of a reliable form of transportation. These men and women and their families have sacrificed so much over the years that I think this is just one small benefit we owe them,” added Sen. Codey.
A full copy of Sen. Codey’s letter is included below:
SENT VIA FAX TO NJ CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION
August 27, 2009
Dear Congressional Representative:
Given the enormous success of the federal government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program, I am hereby writing to request that Congress consider extending this program to our men and women of the U.S. Military who have been deployed during the duration of the program and unable to take advantage of its many benefits.
As you are well aware, the program has been a tremendous success both economically and environmentally – increasing consumer spending, stimulating the creation of thousands of jobs throughout the automotive industry, reducing fossil fuel consumption and lowering auto emissions. However, our servicemen and women who have been deployed during this limited window of opportunity have not been afforded the chance to take advantage of this worthwhile program.
Therefore, I think it is only fair that an extension be granted to any military personnel deployed in an active theater of combat operation during the time of the program who return from duty over the next several years, including members of the National Guard and Army Reservists. These veterans should be eligible for the $4500/$3500 credit under the same terms and conditions as the current program.
With over 200,000 military personnel presently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are clearly a great number of men and women who have missed out on this opportunity. I hope you will consider this request and work together with your colleagues in the United States Congress to extend this benefit to our dedicated military personnel.
Richard J. Codey