The Senate and House have both approved an omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal 2010 that provides funding for high-speed rail projects and grants to states for transportation infrastructure.

The Senate voted 57 to 35 to approve the $447 billion measure on Sunday. The bill is now expected to be signed into law by President Obama.

The measure provides $2.5 billion for high-speed rail, more than double the amount that the Obama administration requested earlier this year, but almost half the amount that was originally proposed by the House.

In addition, the measure does not include a provision proposed in the House bill that would have allowed high-speed rail funds to be transferred into a national infrastructure bank if one was created by Congress.

The committee of House and Senate conferees decided instead to leave it up to congressional authorizing committees to create the bank.

The bill was a conglomeration of six appropriations packages that required 294 pages of explanation from the drafters.

Its enactment leaves Congress with only one appropriations bill to complete before the end of this year.

The bills for fiscal 2010, which began Oct. 1, already are overdue.

The only remaining bill, for defense appropriations, is expected to be the vehicle for two large pieces of legislation, a jobs bill and an increase in the national debt limit.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week that she wants the House to vote this week on those two measures as part of a defense appropriations bill.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said last week that congressional leaders are considering a provision to increase the debt limit to about $14 trillion from $12.1 trillion because the Obama administration is bumping up against it.

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