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House to Take Up Transportation Spending Bill This Week

The House's transportation and housing spending bill for 2010 is slated for a vote in the full chamber this week, setting the stage for possible showdowns over the measure's $4 billion for high-speed rail and $150 million for the Washington D.C. Metro system. 

A copy of the bill can be downloaded on the website of House Rules Committee, which will meet on Wednesday to consider proposed amendments.

During Friday's committee debate on the $123 billion measure, Republicans mounted an unsuccessful bid to move all but $1 billion of its high-speed rail money to the cash-strapped highway trust fund, but that failure doesn't necessarily mean the GOP effort is over for good.

The bill also gives Amtrak a healthy $1.5 billion in funding, which could become a target for Republican amendments during the House debate later this week. Stay tuned.

Late Update: Readers may be asking how this bill relates to the six-year, $450 billion measure that's pending in the House. The six-year bill is an authorization, setting out priorities that are formally funded by annual spending bills such as the one that will get a vote this week.

Ordinarily, the 2010 spending bill would include a concrete level of annual funding -- this time, the bill's authors had to assume that the highway trust fund would be saved from insolvency by the time the next fiscal year begins.

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