US Senate advances $54 bln transportation, housing bill

WASHINGTON, July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:38pm EDT

WASHINGTON, July 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday advanced a $54 billion measure that increases funding for transportation and housing projects, underscoring a spending clash with Republicans in the House of Representatives that threatens a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

The Senate voted 73 to 26 to clear a procedural hurdle that allows for consideration of amendments and a simple majority vote on the funding bill, drawing the support of 19 Republican senators.

The funding measure for basic infrastructure projects, block grants for cities and public housing draws a sharp contrast between the spending paths laid out by Senate Democrats and House Republicans, who are considering a bill that is about $11 billion less.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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