September 17, 2003 - Posted at: 8:44 a.m. CDT
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressional leaders are calling for a five-month extension of highway and public transit programs that expire at month's end.
Senator Kit Bond of Missouri is chairman of a transportation subcommittee overseeing the legislation. And he says the goal now is to pass a new highway plan in February.
The bill covers programs giving states at least 80 percent of the money for roads and public transit nationwide.
The last highway bill was a $203 billion, six-year measure. It, too, replaced highway programs that were extended.
Debate in the Republican-led Senate has focused on environmental rules for approving projects, as well as how to pay for the bill.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee expects to vote on the extension Thursday.