WASHINGTON -- The House approved compromise legislation yesterday to provide $36.5 billion in spending for transportation programs in fiscal 1995, which begins Saturday.
The bill, which now goes to the Senate for a final vote, was approved by the House on a voice vote after House and Senate negotiators hammered out a final version last week calling for about $2 billion less than House and Senate legislators and the Clinton Administration had originally requested.
Under the final measure, state highway projects would receive $17.6 billion in the new fiscal year, far less than either the $19.9 billion or the $20.3 billion approved last summer by the House and Senate appropriations committees respectively.
"We've run out of dough," Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's transportation panel, said last week when asked about the reduced spending levels.
The final bill would provide $4.2 billion for mass transit projects, compared with the $4.62 and $4.60 billion approved by the House and Senate committees, respectively, during the summer.
The measure also would provide $1.45 billion for airport construction grants in fiscal 1995, essentially the same amount recommended by both the House and Senate appropriations committees.
The Senate is expected to vote on the measure before the end of the week.
-- Heather Ann Hope