The U.S. House approved on Friday an additional $2 billion into the cash for clunkers program after a burst of demand exhausted most of the initial $1 billion.

The bill was approved on a vote of 316-109. House members acted within hours of learning from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the program was running out of money.

Members of Congress had said yesterday that the program was being suspended. While White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the program is going on.

“If you were planning on going to buy a car this weekend, using this program, this program continues to run,” Gibbs said. “If you meet the requirements of the program, the certificates will be honored.”

The program named as the Car Allowance Rebate System is designed to help the economy and the environment by spurring new car sales.

Car owners can receive federal subsidies of up to $4,500 for the purchase of a new car when turning in an older vehicle to be scrapped.

 Lawmakers had expected the program to generate about 250,000 vehicle sales and to have enough money to last until about Nov. 1.

President Obama signed the cash for clunkers” program into law on June 24.