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Transportation funding bill faces GOP opposition

Published: Thu, August 1, 2013 @ 11:35 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure awarding generous funding to road and bridge projects, community development grants and housing help for the poor is running into stiff Republican opposition in the Senate.

The bill appeared likely to fall prey today to a filibuster by Republicans unhappy that the legislation breaks through budget limits required by automatic spending cuts known as budget sequestration.

"Voting for appropriations legislation that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties moves our country in exactly, exactly the wrong direction," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

Far more austere companion legislation was pulled off the House floor Wednesday because, top lawmakers said, GOP leaders lacked the votes to pass it. The House Appropriations Committee chairman, Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., said it was time to go back to the drawing board and come up with a compromise with congressional Democrats and the White House.

Taken together, the likely failure of both measures illustrates the shortcomings of the budget strategies by Republicans controlling the House and Democrats in charge of the Senate. At issue are the 12 spending bills passed each year by Congress for the day-to-day working of the government.

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