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The Associated Press May 25, 2011, 5:43PM ET

Senators unveil bipartisan transportation plan

Key senators have come up with a bipartisan plan they say they hope will break the more than three-year stalemate that has prevented Congress from passing a long-term transportation spending bill.

The plan disclosed Wednesday by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, chairman of the Senate committee responsible for highway legislation, calls for spending about $56 billion a year on highway and transit construction.

Still unclear is whether the bill will authorize spending for two years or six years, and how to come up with $6 billion to $12 billion more a year than generated by federal gas and diesel taxes to pay for it.

The plan has the backing of committee's senior Republican, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, as well as the top Republican and Democratic senators on the highways subcommittee.

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