U.S. Senate passes transportation bill, waits for House
The U.S. Senate passed a two-year, $109 billion transportation bill Wednesday by a vote of 74-22, putting the spotlight on the House of Representatives, which has been unable to get enough votes to pass its own transit bill.
House Speaker John Boehner said last week he planned to take up the Senate's bill if a deal wasn't reached in the House.
Mass transit advocates, including the MTA and several local politicians, rallied against the House bill, saying it would "rob" the cash-strapped transit agency. MTA chief Joseph Lhota called it, "the worst piece of legislation anyone could ever imagine," and said if passed, "it will raise fares."
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) said he is hopeful the transportation legislation would restore higher tax breaks for commuters.