The answer came later today when the Department of Transportation released sales figures showing that four of the top five cars bought under the program were foreign models.
The top seller was the Ford Focus, followed by Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry.
The Ford Escape is number six, followed by Hyundai Elantra, Dodge Caliber and the Honda Fit. The only car from General Motors to make the Top 10 list is the Chevrolet Cobalt, coming in at number 10.
Republicans say the government needs to stay out of the auto market.
"The federal government should not be running the used car business. This is a horrible policy idea," Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told ABC News. "And the fact that people buy cars when you give them free money does not mean that is what the federal government should be doing."
But while there's no guarantee that the Senate will sign off on the $2 billion the House of Representatives authorized for the program on Friday, it looks more than likely that the clunkers program will be salvaged.
The bill cleared a major hurdle late Monday when two senators, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, lifted their objections to the House's emergency bill to pump for funding into the popular program.
Feinstein and Collins had opposed extending the bill unless the fuel efficiency standard for eligible cars was raised. They said they changed their minds because the roughly 250,000 people who took advantage of the program bought cars that get 9 miles per gallon better gas mileage than the clunkers they traded in.
"The statistics are much better than everyone thought," Feinstein said during a Capitol Hill press conference Monday. "It's much more fuel efficient than anyone thought it would be," she said.
As it rushed to get out of town for the August recess, the House voted last week to add $2 billion to keep the Cash for Clunkers program afloat.
But the Senate, in session for one more week, hadn't seemed to be in much of a hurry, and that alone is enough to put the program's future in doubt.
The program, which pays consumers cash for trading in gas guzzling cars for fuel efficient new cars, turned out to be wildly popular. Officials now say without more funding the program will be out of cash by midweek.
"I think if it doesn't happen this week, it's unlikely that we'll make it to the weekend with a program that can continue," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs during the White House briefing Monday. Gibbs estimated that an additional $2 billion in funding could stretch the program through September.
Backed by the president, more money for the car incentive plan can be reprogrammed from stimulus funds, but unless there is unanimous consent in the Senate -- that is, unless every senator agrees -- it will take at least three days to get a bill on the schedule and the Senate's August recess is due to begin Friday.
But some liberals still think the mileage requirements are too lax and conservatives, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., say the program is a boondoggle and amounts to another bailout of the auto industry.