Senate approves $300 billion highway bill

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(Dec. 3, 2015) — The Senate gave final congressional approval Thursday night to a long-term highway and transit construction bill and sent it to the President to be signed in to law.

The vote was 83-16.

The measure also revives the Export-Import Bank whose charter expired earlier this year after some conservative Republicans targeted it as a waste of government money.

The $300 billion measure, which authorizes six years of projects, is the longest term highway bill in a decade. It is designed to make up for a long-standing shortfall in the highway trust fund, which gets its money from an 18.4 cent federal tax on each gallon of gas drivers buy. That tax has not been raised in 20 years and therefore has not kept up with growing traffic needs across the country.

Renewal of the Export-Import Bank is a victory for Democrats and many Republicans who feared that losing the financing tool for American exports could cause job losses in the U.S.

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