Cash for Clunkers Update: Senate Approves Another $2B

Cash for clunkers lives! — at least until around Labor Day. As expected the Senate just voted on the cash for clunkers program, which provides rebates of up to $4,500 for qualifying old gas guzzlers when they’re traded in for more fuel-efficient new vehicles, and approved (60 to 37) a $2 billion extension, tripling the original budget of the program.

Since the cash for clunkers program started two weeks ago it has proven so popular that there have been, according to the LA Times,  220,000 clunker trade-ins, good for about $923 million in rebates. The program ran through its original funding of $1 billion, and if the Senate hadn’t approved more funding, or approved amendments to the House version of the extension, cash for clunkers likely would have been suspended by Friday — at least until the two chambers could hash out a compromise version after their August recess.

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