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House passes 3-month highway funding bill

From USA Today

WASHINGTON — The House passed a three-month extension of highway funding Wednesday, just two days before the Highway Trust Fund was set to run out of money to help states build roads, bridges, and mass transit projects.

The House voted 385-34 to approve an extension through Oct. 29.

The Senate is expected to pass the short-term funding bill Thursday, preventing an abrupt halt at midnight Friday in the flow of federal funds to states struggling to fix dangerously deteriorating highways. About 65% of America’s roads are rated in less than good condition and 25% of bridges need to be replaced, according to the Department of Transportation.

While the move will prevent a crisis, it does not give states the long-term funding they were seeking to help them plan and construct major transportation projects that take years to complete.

This is the 34th time since 2009 that Congress has passed a short-term fix instead of the traditional six-year highway bill. The latest extension gives Congress about two months after it returns from its August recess to try to reach agreement on a long-term bill.

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