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Obama signs road-building bill

Associated Press

President Barack Obama signs the Surface Transportation Bill, HR 4348, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Friday. The bill maintains jobs on transportation projects. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday maintaining jobs on transportation projects, saying it would “make a real difference” for millions of Americans.

Obama, flanked by unemployed construction workers and members of Congress at the White House, said he was hopeful that “this bipartisan spirit spills over into the next phase” on measures to boost the economy.

“There’s no excuse for inaction when there are so many Americans still trying to get back on their feet,” Obama said. He said the transportation measure “will make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans.” Obama signed the bill following a two-day bus trip through parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The legislation served as an election-year battle over which party is best equipped to help voters grapple with a sluggish economy, the top issue.

The bill allows more than $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs during the next two years. The projects would have expired June 30.

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