WASHINGTON -- The House Public Works Committee is likely to propose easing curbs on infrastructure bonds in its highway bill and recommend paying for the expanded tax exemption, as well as a new $6.6 billion a year highway spending program, with a gas tax increase, committee aides said last week.

In drafting the House highway bill, "we're looking at all sorts of ways to maximize infrastructure spending by giving more flexibility to the states, leveraging, and doing things on the tax side," such as expanding infrastructure bond exemptions, said one of the aides, who asked not to be identified.

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