House passes highway bill that keeps a lid on spending

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has voted to continue transportation programs for six years with no significant increase in spending. That’s despite warnings that the nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems are falling apart.

The bill passed on a 363-64 vote with wide bipartisan support. It authorizes $325 billion in spending through the 2021 federal budget year. But it provides only enough money to pay for the first three years.

Lawmakers were unable to settle on a politically acceptable way to pay for the entire package. The measure would continue current rates of spending, adjusted for inflation.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has said at least $400 billion over six years is needed to prevent traffic congestion from getting worse.

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