The U.S. Senate will vote on Thursday on extending the popular cash for clunkers auto sales incentive bill after an agreement with Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.
Speaking on the Senate floor late on Wednesday, Reid said the accord provided for votes on seven possible amendments, all of which aides said were expected to be defeated.
That would clear the way for the Senate to give final congressional approval to the $2 billion measure, passed earlier by the House of Representatives, and send it to President Barack Obama to sign into law.
There's a significant majority that wants to move forward with this legislation, Reid said earlier. That being said, there's some people who still don't like the program.
Lawmakers have scrambled to extend the popular program after an unexpected avalanche of business exhausted the initial $1 billion approved for it.
Federally backed rebates of up to $4,500 to consumers who trade in old, gas-guzzling vehicles and buy new, fuel-efficient ones helped boost industry sales in July to a 2009 high.
The House approved a $2 billion extension last Friday, and Reid has said the measure has enough votes to pass the Senate before the chamber leaves for its August recess.
Reid had said he would move to cut off debate on the measure on Wednesday if he could not reach an agreement with Republicans, which could have pushed back a final vote until Friday or Saturday under the Senate's procedural rules.
Transportation Department figures showed sales nearing 160,000 vehicles in connection with the program, representing more than $450 million in federal vouchers since July 1. With more deals in the pipeline, the government said the existing funds would quickly be exhausted.