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House bill extends U.S. highway funding, boosts airport funding

WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday proposed spending $14 billion to shore up a trust fund that pays for airport improvements and air traffic control operations as part of a bill to fund government operations.

Earlier this year, Congress agreed to suspend taxes on passenger airline tickets, cargo, and fuel for the remainder of 2020. Significantly reduced travel demand because of the coronavirus pandemic and the tax suspension has led to a major shortfall in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

The bill also proposes extending surface transportation funding for another year. Congress has struggled for years to find a way to fund highway repairs as gasoline tax revenue has not kept up with spending. The House bill proposes directing $13.6 billion to maintain current spending levels on highways and mass transit.

Reporting by David Shepardson