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3/1/2010 Funding Fight Means DOT Will Begin Furloughs Today

The Department of Transportation will furlough nearly 2,000 employees without pay today, due to a congressional conflict over funding. DOT said it will cease making reimbursements to states for highway construction and maintenance projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Also affected is funding for the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, which reimburses states for expenses associated with truck safety....At issue is a short-term extension of the federal highway program, which Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., blocked last Friday. Bunning objected to the extension, arguing that it should be paid for by funds in the Recovery Act. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declined to accept that approach, Bunning threatened a filibuster.

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