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Congress Working on Highway Funding for Next Year

July 24, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Congress is wrestling with two highway funding bills, but only one has gotten an endorsement from President Obama.

The Senate will vote later this week on the $54 billion Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill that would fund federal highway projects for the 2014 fiscal year that starts on Oct. 1.

Although it exceeds the Obama administration’s funding request, the White House supports the measure. The bill also has the support of several prominent Republicans in the Democratically controlled Senate.

The White House says the bill (S. 1243) "makes important investments in transportation infrastructure that will help to fix America's crumbling roads and bridges and upgrade and modernize the infrastructure that is so vital to the nation's economic security and long-term growth." 

Some conservative groups have slammed the proposal, saying it costs too much.

The White House support is in sharp contrast to a House version of the bill (H.R. 2610), which the President has promised to veto if it reaches his desk. That bill includes only $44 billion.

Some believe each bill will pass their respective chambers, forcing compromise legislation to be ironed out in a conference committee, where funding would likely be somewhere between the House and Senate proposals.

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