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House chairman backs highway programs extension
House Transportation Committee chairman backs extension of highways construction spending
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The House Transportation Committee chairman says he will back legislation to keep federal highway construction aid flowing to states.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday had warned that failure to pass the bill could put 1 million workers out of their jobs.

The committee chairman, Republican Rep. John Mica, said in a statement that he will agree to one more extension of the highway program, which has been extended several times.

Mica's statement didn't rule out attaching policy issues Republicans want to enact to an extension bill.

The federal highway program, which underwrites about 40 percent of road and bridge construction by states, is due to expire on Oct. 1. Long-term authority for the program expired in 2009, but it has continued to operate under a series of short- term extensions.

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