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Getting their House in Order

highwayconst200x135April 19, 2012 The House approved a transportation bill by a 293 to 127 vote that extends the government's authority to spend money from the federal Highway Trust Fund through Sept. 30, and ties the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to infrastructure spending. The pipeline, which would transport oil produced from Canadian tar sands to Port Arthur, Texas, was previously blocked by President Obama, and has been criticized because most of the oil it would carry would be sold to China rather than remain in the United States. The Senate last month passed a two-year, $109 billion transportation bill with bipartisan support, but House Republican leaders oppose it because it does not contain their favored reforms for highway programs. Ideological differences in how road and bridge construction should be funded may make compromise on a final bill hard to pass and a long time in coming.