HOUSE APPROVES $14.2 BILLION FOR TRANSPORT

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The House approved a $14.2 billion, "something for everyone," transportation appropriation bill that makes major increases in spending for mass transit, highway, and aviation programs.The 18 percent boost in funding for mass transit, to $3.85 billion in 1992, would be the largest increase in nearly a decade. The bill, which was passed Wednesday on a 369 to 47 vote and now goes to the Senate, would boost federal highway grants and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs by 12 percent each. The measure had wide support in the House, largely because it provides money for a large number of transit projects in members' districts throughout the United States. The bill provides 80 percent federal funding for 49 new highway "demonstration" projects and 16 ongoing projects, plus funds for new mass transit projects in 26 cities, and new air traffic control terminal facilities at 19 airports. It appropriates $14.2 billion for various Transportation Department programs and also authorizes the spending of $20.2 billion from the aviation and highway trust programs, for a total of $34.4 billion. That represents a $3.5 billion, or 11 percent, increase over 1991 funding . Of the total $7 billion provided for the FAA, $2 billion is for air traffic control, an increase of 7 percent. The increase would allow for the employment of an additional 450 air traffic controllers. Amtrak would receive a total of $504 million for operating and capital grants, a 6 percent increase over 1991 funding.

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