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House passes 30-day extension for highway funding

<i>Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images</i><br/>
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By Gregory Wallace, Melanie Zanona and Kristin Wilson, CNN

The House of Representatives on Friday night passed a resolution extending funding for the Highway Trust Fund for 30 days, hours after funding for the program had lapsed at midnight.

The resolution now goes to the Senate, which has adjourned for the night, and will gavel back in on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET to take up the bill, where it is expected to pass by unanimous consent.

The vote is separate from a debate among Democratic lawmakers regarding when to vote on a larger $1 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure package as moderates and progressives continue to nail down a price tag and what’s included in a broader bill to address President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

But the effects of the lapse in funding were felt Friday. Nearly 4,000 federal employees were off the job on because Congress failed to extend funding, a Transportation Department spokesperson told CNN earlier Friday.

The furloughs impact “approximately 3700” employees, the spokesperson said, adding the administration “is continuing to work closely with Congress to swiftly reauthorize surface transportation programs.”

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said the failure “lapses our highway, transit, and highway safety programs and halts work on vital transportation infrastructure around the country, which is detrimental to our economy and the quality of life of our communities.”

Jim Tymon, the group’s executive director, said it means “$50 billion of federal surface transportation programs supported by the Highway Trust Fund are being suspended.”

The issue impacts the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration, according to a DOT summary prepared earlier this week.

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Friday.

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