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US House approves funding to keep highway fund afloat - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

US House approves funding to keep highway fund afloat

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WASHINGTON -

The U.S. House has approved some short-term funding to keep the nation's highway and transit programs rolling.

The federal Highway Trust Fund was about to run dry. That would have derailed all sorts of transportation programs, including 50 road and transit projects in Vermont.

The House bill cobbles together about $11 billion from a variety of sources to keep the fund solvent through next May.

Vermont Congressmen Peter Welch voted against the bill. He wants a longer-term solution, like an increase in the gasoline tax that he says would solve the fund's continuing shortfalls.

"Yes, it's always difficult to figure out what that revenue source is. But you know what, difficulty is not an excuse for Congress to fail to do its job and give this highway trust fund a sustainable and long-term revenue source," said Welch, D-Vermont.

But Welch was in the minority; the short-term bill passed on a bipartisan vote of 367-55. A similar bill is pending in the Senate.

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