Congress OKs $2B refill of 'cash for clunkers'

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress has passed a $2 billion extension of the popular "cash for clunkers" program, clearing the legislation for President Barack Obama's signature.

The Senate passed the extension Thursday evening. The House approved the measure last week. Lawmakers made sure to keep the popular program alive before heading home for a monthlong vacation. Under cash for clunkers, consumers qualify for up to $4,500 in federal subsidies when they trade in their cars for new, more energy-efficient models.

In 10 days, the program has instantly increased sales for an auto industry long mired in recession. Obama administration officials have said that without new funds, the program would have expired by Friday.

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