WASHINGTON - House leaders have kept a promise they made earlier this year to scrounge up a $2.5 billion "peace dividend" for the highway and mass transit programs by siphoning off unused funds from the foreign military aid budget.

In a little-publicized action taken before the Democratic convention, the House approved an amendment sponsored by Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., diverting funds earmarked for foreign arms purchases to the fiscal 1993 transportation appropriations bill.

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