Senate Should Act on Highway Bill after Break

The Senate should take up legislation laying out how much money the country will spend on roads, bridges and highways when it returns from its month-long recess, Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday.

A short-term patch to fund transportation programs expires on September 30 and the Senate had hoped to consider a long-term spending blueprint before July. But the battle over raising the U.S. debt limit pushed many issues to the side.

Congress adjourns this week for its August break.

Speaking before the Senate voted to approve a debt limit deal, Reid, a Democrat, said: "I'm optimistic and hopeful that the spirit of compromise that has taken root in Washington over the last several days will endure."

"We have a highway bill that's due," he also said. "I've spoken to the chairman of the Finance committee today. There are ways we can fund that."

Funding has proven the biggest obstacle to long-term transportation legislation.

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