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Senate to debate transportation, housing budgets

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News,Nation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats are promising increases for popular community development grants, transit programs and housing for the poor as they move the first spending bill for the 2014 fiscal year to the floor.

The $108 billion measure is among the 12 annual appropriations bills most commonly associated with generating jobs, given its investments in infrastructure projects, and Democratic leaders appear to have chosen it to air their differences with the GOP-controlled House, which has drafted a far more austere measure that's in line with the automatic spending cuts required because of Washington's broken budget process.

Debate comes amid a continuing impasse between the GOP-controlled House, Democratic Senate and the White House over dealing with painful, automatic across-the-board spending cuts that are reducing military readiness and imposing sweeping cuts on domestic programs.

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