8-10-05 - President Bush is signing a whopping $286.4 billion transportation bill that lawmakers stuffed with plenty of cash for some 6,000 pet projects back home.
Bush is hitting the road Wednesday to sign the highway bill into law in Aurora, Ill., the second time this week he's traveling from his Texas ranch to highlight recently passed legislation.
The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the six-year highway and mass transit legislation just before heading home for a summer break. They left Washington carrying promises of new highway and bridge projects, rail and bus facilities, and bike paths and recreational trails they secured for their states and districts.
Bush had threatened to veto the bill if the final version was too fat for his liking, and it took nearly two years for Congress to reach a compromise the White House would accept.
"There were a number of members of Congress who wanted a $400 billion highway bill," Al Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council at the White House, said Tuesday in defending the president's decision to accept the bill even though it was $30 billion more than Bush recommended.