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Aide: GOP leaders weigh scaling back highway bill

By JOAN LOWY
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Republican congressional aide says GOP leaders are considering significantly reducing the scope of a bill that was supposed to provide a long-term blueprint for federal transportation programs.

The aide says GOP leaders are weighing three key changes: reducing the duration of the bill to something less than its current 4½ years, cutting annual transportation spending and postponing a controversial proposal to change the way money flows to mass transit programs.

The aide asked not to be identified because any changes must still be discussed further among GOP committee chairmen and rank-and-file Republicans.

The changes would mark a significant retreat from the $260 billion bill House Republicans were trying to pass late last week. It would also better align the measure with a bipartisan transportation bill in the Senate.

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