The U.S. Senate on Wednesday
passed a two-year transportation bill to rebuild and modernize roads
and bridges, and support highway construction programs.
The bill, approved by a vote of 74-22, would pay $109 billion in about two years to maintain aging highways, bridges and rail systems and keep aid flowing to thousands of construction projects.
To enhance highway and auto safety, the bill would require stricter federal oversight of the long-distance and tour bus industries by setting deadlines for buses to equip seat belts, stronger roofs, anti-ejection windows and rollover crash avoidance systems.
The Senate measure has been sent to the House of Representatives, which preferred a five-year bill of 260 billion dollars. However, time is running short as funding authority for highway and rail construction projects will expire on March 31.
The White House praised Senate's move and urged the House to " move swiftly" to approve the measure.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner also said that he would take up the Senate bill if Republicans cannot agree on a longer-term measure.
Days ago, the bill was rejected by Senate since Republicans attempted to link it with the approval of Keystone XL pipeline project.
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