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  •   The Highway Bill: Key Stories

    Rep. Bud Shuster and Sen. John H. Chafee
    Key chairmen: Rep. Bud Shuster and Sen. John H. Chafee.
    (Ray Lustig / The Post)
    Few federal issues affect voters more than the roads and bridges on which they ride. In June, President Clinton signed a major transportation bill authorizing $217 billion for transportation projects over six years – a major election-year investment by Congress. To pass the bill, lawmakers bypassed major legislative roadblocks, including allegations of pork-barrel spending and a debate over drunk driving laws.

    L.A. Subway Tests Mass Transit's Limits
    June 10, 1998
    The federal transportation bill signed by President Clinton provides more than $41 billion for mass transit. But in Los Angeles -- a city defined by its automobiles -- the trouble-plagued subway may be running out of track after just 5.2 miles.

    Clinton Signs Highway Bill
    June 9, 1998
    President Clinton lauded Congress for its bipartisanship as he signed the nation's new highway bill.

    Is the Road to State Sprawl Paved With U.S. Highway Funds?
    May 26, 1998
    In state capitals across the country, the surge of new federal money is likely to set off renewed debate over how much should be spent expanding the highway system to relieve congestion and propel economic development, and how much should go to preserving what is already in place.

    Hill Pours $217 Billion Into Transportation
    May 23, 1998
    Congress capped marathon back-room haggling by passing a bill that will lavish record funds on the nation's highways, bridges and mass transit systems and address long-festering regional disparities that have shortchanged many southern, midwestern and western states.

    Pressure Politics Bottled Up Drunk-Driving Rule
    May 22, 1998
    The compromise highway bill before the Senate will be missing a provision that 62 senators had wanted to become law: a nationwide rule that a person with a blood alcohol level of .08 is considered legally drunk.

    Hill Negotiators Agree on Road Bill
    May 19, 1998
    House and Senate negotiators reached agreement yesterday on a $200 billion highway and mass transit bill.

    Gingrich Halts Killing Ethanol Subsidy
    May 7, 1998
    The speaker squelched a drive by the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to eliminate a $600 million-a-year subsidy on the production of ethanol-based fuel.

    Highway Pork on the Menu in Both Houses
    April 19, 1998
    While Senate leaders say they disapprove of the pork-barrel spending in the House version of the federal highway bill, senators will bring plenty of their own to the negotiating table.

    Benefits of Lower Limit Are Debated
    April 13, 1998
    As Congress decides whether to throw the federal government's weight behind the movement for a stricter definition of "driving while intoxicated," lawmakers must consider years of research on the subject.

    Highway Bill Could Help, Hurt Atlanta
    April 12, 1998
    Under either the House measure or the Senate version, Georgia and metropolitan Atlanta, home of House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), is a big winner. But there are no guarantees there or in other major metropolitan areas that are suffering the consequences of years of rapid growth built around the automobile.

    Bill's Bounty Isn't Always in Dollars
    April 6, 1998
    In addition to the billions earmarked for roads and bridges in members' districts, the highway bill contains provisions that may translate into profits or cost savings for various special interests.

    House Passes Transit Bill
    April 2, 1998
    The House passed the $217 billion highway bill by a vote of 337-80.

    Highway Earmarks Hold Record Pork
    April 1, 1998
    The mammoth highway bill contains historic sums for the pet highway and mass transit projects of House Republicans and Democrats, twice as much pork as all the other highway bills of modern times put together.

    Clinton: Highway Bill Threatens Budget Accord
    March 29, 1998
    President Clinton joined in the mounting criticism of the highway bill, warning that it jeopardizes spending on education and other priorities.

    Alcohol Lobby Fights Drunken Driving Bill
    March 26, 1998
    The liquor, beer wholesaler and restaurant industries are waging a well-financed campaign in the House to defeat a measure that would impose tougher anti-drunken driving laws throughout the country.

    House Panel Approves Highway Bill
    March 25, 1998
    A key House committee swiftly approved a $217 billion transportation bill, virtually assuring its passage.

    Senate Boosts Highway Spending 38 Percent
    March 13, 1998
    The Senate's $214-billion version of the highway and mass transit reauthorization bill would boost spending in the coming six years and correct long-festering regional inequities in the way highway money is divided among the states.

    Senate Highway Vote Puts Rep. Shuster in Driver's Seat
    March 12, 1998
    The Senate's overwhelming vote to approve a transportation bill may have helped one man in Congress more than anyone else -- Bud Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

    Senate Deal Would Increase Transit Funds
    March 6, 1998
    Senate leaders agreed to increase mass transit as well as highway spending over the next six years.

    Senate Ties Drunk-Driving Crackdown to Highway Aid
    March 5, 1998
    A measure in the Senate legislation would force states to adopt tough drunk driving standards or suffer the loss of federal highway funds.

    Senate Leaders Make Highway Deal
    March 3, 1998
    Senate leaders from both parties struck a deal to increase highway spending by more than 40 percent over previous years.

    Highway Funds Stuck in 'No Passing' Zone
    February 23, 1998
    Dozens of states struggling with long-festering highway, road and bridge problems are anxiously awaiting congressional action this year.

    Congress Straddling Lanes on Use of Highway Trust Fund
    September 22, 1997
    The transportation industry and other champions of concrete and asphalt projects complain that Congress is sitting on desperately needed funds for improving the nation's highways and bridges.

    A Mover on the Hill: Shuster Follows His Own Road Map
    September 16, 1997
    Republican Rep. Bud Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is one of the most audacious members of Congress -- and one man on Capitol Hill whom no one wants to cross.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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