The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a six-year $275 billion highway and transit funding bill on Friday, April 2nd. President Bush had threatened to veto the bill, the first of his administration, though the 357-65 vote in favor of the bill virtually ensures the veto would be overridden by a much wider margin than the two-thirds majority needed.
Supporters said the bill was necessary to repair crumbling roads and help ease traffic congestion, and will also provide hundreds of construction jobs. But there are more than 2,800 projects in Congressional districts written into the bill, making its passage politically expedient in an election year for lawmakers looking to provide for their districts. The White House is concerned that the provision would worsen the budget deficit.
The Senate approved a $318 billion version of the bill in February. Once the versions are reconciled, the result is likely to be more expensive than the $256 billion limit sought by the White House.