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House votes to extend Surface Transportation Programs, but only through July

From Illinois Business Journal news services

WASHINGTON – It’s not the program that contractors and community leaders have been hoping for, but it’s at least a temporary fix for a program that was due to expire at the end of May.

On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 2353, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, to extend highway, transit, and safety programs through July, by a vote of 387-35.

“Investing in our transportation and infrastructure is critical to growing our economy and for the future of this country,” said Congressman Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville. “While a short-term extension is not the preferred choice, the fact remains that we have a $167 billion shortfall that must be addressed before a long-term bill can be considered. We owe it to the American people to come together to find innovative funding sources that will allow us to invest in transportation projects that advance our communities, increase commerce, and improve safety for decades to come.”

White House officials said President Obama is willing to sign the temporary transportation funding extension if it is passes the Senate this week. He also has been looking for a longer-term solution.

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