Cost of Transit Bill Tops Bush's Guidelines

President Bush signed the Transportation Equity Act in Illinois, with House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

President Bush signed the Transportation Equity Act in Illinois, with House Speaker Dennis Hastert and members of the Illinois congressional contingent present. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters

The highway bill signed into law by President Bush is nearly $30 billion richer than what Bush first proposed — and it tops the figure he said he'd veto. /P>

The $286.4 billion bill is loaded with thousands of earmarks — specific "set aside" elements that members of Congress can make for transportation projects in their own state. The legislation's price tag tops the $284 billion Bush called for earlier this year, threatening to veto anything above that mark.

The president has set a goal to cut the federal budget deficit in half by 2009, warning that Congress must control spending.

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