It's official: "Cash for Clunkers," the consumer- and environment-friendly car-rebate program, is back. The Senate voted 60-37 in favor of giving the program $2 billion more in federal funds after it ran out of its first $1 billion last week—despite early claims that the first billion could last through November. The new funds are expected to last until Labor Day, and will offer consumers $3,500 to $4,500 in rebates for buying cars when they trade an old vehicle in for a newer, more fuel-efficient one. Thursday's positive vote came after a series of proposed amendments were first added, then scuttled, including a pair of Republican-sponsored amendments that would have suspended the program or promoted donating "clunkers" to charity. When the bill passed, Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow praised Senate civility: "Thank you for allowing an important stimulus to continue. Several Republican senators who opposed the program did not attempt to use parliamentary tactics to delay its passage."
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