Republicans have lost an effort to kill a $1 billion "cash for clunkers" program that would offer government incentives of $3,500 to $4,500 to consumers who trade in old gas guzzlers for more fuel efficient vehicles.
The program is aimed at drawing consumers into auto dealer showrooms by offering incentives to trade in vehicles that get poor gas mileage. Only models built since 1984 are eligible.
Supporters needed 60 votes to keep the program alive as part of a $106 billion bill to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They did Thursday on a 60-36 vote by the Senate.
Republican Sen. Judd Gregg and others said the plan would drive up the federal debt and do little to get more fuel-efficient vehicles onto the highways.