The House and Senate passed the highway reauthorization bill this afternoon. The bill easily cleared both chambers: The House vote was 373-52, and the Senate vote was 74-19. It now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.

The bill holds transportation spending at current levels, authorizing $101.3 billion for highways and transit over the next 27 months.

"This measure includes historic reforms - cutting red tape and consolidating or eliminating nearly 70 federal programs," said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., in a statement.

"This bill will provide a major boost to our economy by putting Americans back to work building our nation's bridges and highways," he said.

"It has been a very long and winding road to get to this place," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee. "This sends a message to the people of America, and that is that we can work together."