The House passed emergency legislation Friday approving an additional $2 billion for the "cash for clunkers" program, whose immediate popularity this week threatened to sink the fledgling program.
A Senate vote is expected next week on the emergency infusion and could come as soon as Monday. The House scrambled to schedule their vote on the final day of their session before a month-long summer recess.
Skipping over regular procedure to obtain an immediate floor vote, House Democrats' presented a bill that would shuffle around funds from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an emergency stimulus for the original $1 billion budget for rebates on new cars that lawmakers worried had been exhausted in only a week. The bill passed 316-109.
President Obama said he was "very pleased" that lawmakers had moved quickly to save the program, but Republicans blasted the speed of the vote, accusing Democrats of jamming the legislation through. The bill includes hand-written marks on its margins, a sign of the haste in which the legislation was written.