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Senate moves forward on transportation spending

By Andrew Taylor
The Associated Press


WASHINGTON — A $108 billion measure that would boost funding for infrastructure projects and housing subsidies for the poor is moving ahead in the Senate.

But without a broader budget agreement in place, the huge measure would be subject to sweeping across-the-board cuts known as sequestration that would reverse most of its increases.

Action came as a Republican-controlled House panel responsible for funding the Environmental Protection Agency, clean water projects and the national parks approved a measure with slashing cuts that prompted bitter protests from Democrats.

The twin developments illustrate the starkly different paths charted by the Democratic-led Senate and GOP-controlled House on the budget and there's no sign the impasse will be broken anytime soon.

The Senate measure cleared a key procedural hurdle by a bipartisan 73-26 vote.

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