(Reuters) - A bipartisan proposal for the government to spend $109 billion over two years to upgrade roads, bridges and transit systems and create jobs easily cleared a crucial hurdle in the Senate on Thursday.
In a test of whether the full chamber would support infrastructure legislation in a politically charged election-year climate, the Senate voted 85-11 to allow the bill to proceed to debate next week.
"This is a good vote," said Democrat Barbara Boxer, chairman of the Public Works Committee. "But now the true test comes. We have a lot of work to do complete this legislation."