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Senate committee approves stimulus bill

Senate committee approves stimulus bill

   The U.S. Senate’s version of an $825 billion economic stimulus bill includes a provision that would waive a 25 percent cost-sharing requirement for ports that receive federal security grants.

   The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 edited Tuesday by the Appropriations Committee also includes $4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers ($100 million more than the House version) for inland waterways construction and maintenance, flood control, environmental restoration and deep-draft maintenance.

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   The Senate bill also would fund transportation and homeland security improvements, including:

   ' $27 billion for highway improvements, down from the $30 billion in the House version. The Senate bill says the money can be used for port and rail infrastructure projects at the discretion of states that receive the aid.

   ' $813 million for the Coast Guard for construction and repair of stations, bridges that are hazards to navigation and other projects.

   ' $2 billion for construction to modernize points of entry on the southern and northern borders.

   ' $1.3 billion for aviation system upgrades.

   ' $100 million for grants to small shipyards.

   ' $200 billion for border security technology, such as cargo screening machines.

   The summary of the Senate bill is available here.