Senate Passes $109 Billion Highway Bill

March 15, 2012 Updated: March 15, 2012

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to overhaul the nation’s transit and highway systems that could potentially generate thousands of construction jobs.

The $109 billion plan will fund road and transit projects over the next two years.

The measure was passed 74–22 along bipartisan lines, which supporters have said would generate investment in roads and bridges, while creating jobs.

Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont who helped author the bill, said that “given the infrastructure crisis facing our country, it is imperative that we get to work as soon as possible and this bill is a good start,” according to a statement from his office.

Opponents of the bill, however, say the bill is too costly and wasteful.

“This bill proves that the bipartisan addiction to big spending in Washington hasn’t ended,” said Republican South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint in a statement, adding that the measure requires a $13 billion bailout because it surpasses the nation’s highway fund.