Senate panel approves key spending bills

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Associated Press

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 1:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan coalition on the Senate Appropriations Committee is rolling back House GOP-backed cuts to Amtrak, transportation projects, and affordable housing projects, but pressures elsewhere in the budget may make the funding levels unsustainable as the massive $108 billion spending bill moves ahead.

The transportation and housing bill was targeted by House Republicans for $1.8 billion in cuts from current program levels; the Senate measure is about $2.4 billion above the House measure and more than $600 million above current spending.

The additional money — made available through bookkeeping maneuvers by Senate panel chair Barbara Mikulski — maintains funding for a $550 million transportation grant program that dates to President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus bill, as well as additional funding for rent vouchers for the poor.

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