WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday that he intends this week to pass a pending bill to rescue the nearly depleted highway trust fund and prevent the government from delaying payments to states, despite the successful efforts by two Republican senators to block passage of the bill Monday evening.

The Democrat from Nevada hopes the Bush administration will put pressure on Senate Republicans to support a pending bill that would transfer $8 billion of general funds to the highway trust fund, a spokesman for the senator said, pointing to the administration's recent announcement that it will support the bill, a turnaround from its earlier opposition. Reid wants the bill with the effective date moved up from Oct. 1, but otherwise intact, the spokesman said.

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