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'Clunkers' hurdle passed

From NBC's Ken Strickland
It appears that one of the hurdles for the Senate to extend the Cash for Clunkers program has been removed. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins had previously expressed concerned that the program wasn't strong enough on promoting fuel efficiency.

Video: The government's cash for clunkers program gives July auto sales a boost amid doubts about whether it will continue beyond this week. CNBC's Phil LeBeau reports.

But concerns have been eased after being briefed by the White House on the program's preliminary data, according to a senate aide. The senators are holding a news conference at 5:00 pm ET today in the Senate studio.

The remaining hurdle appears to be on the Republican side of the aisle where some feel the program is just another government bailout. Their objections would likely cause a procedural slowdown, delaying a vote until after the recess in September.