U.S. passes $59 billion spending bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House almost unanimously signed off on a $59 billion transportation spending package yesterday.

The bill, actually a 2 per cent increase over spending levels enacted by the previous administration, includes full funding of major air, rail and highway programs as well as money for the Coast Guard and $521 million for Amtrak.

Highway spending far and away out paces all other modes, with a total of $32.7 billion budgeted.

For the first time in six years, the bill contained no language blocking executive branch consideration of an increase in auto fuel efficiency standards.

The spending package will still need to get the support of the Senate, where the transportation bill is currently moving through various committees.

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