With a deadline approaching, the Senate has approved a $463.5-billion spending package that finances most federal agencies through the end of the current fiscal year, including full funding of the federal highway and transit programs at levels authorized by the SAFETEA-LU statute.

The joint funding resolution, which the Senate passed Feb. 14 by a 81-15 vote, now goes the White House, where President Bush is expected to sign it before the current stopgap spending bill expires on Feb. 15.

The new measure sets the highway obligation ceiling at the SAFETEA-LU authorized mark of $39.1 billion for fiscal 2007, an increase of $3.4 billion from the enacted 2006 level.

The legislation also provides more than $8.9 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, the level authorized by SAFETEA-LU and 6% above 2006 appropriations.

Other construction accounts gaining increases include Environmental Protection Agency aid for Clean Water state revolving funds and Bureau of Prisons facilities. Some programs were cut, however, including Corps of Engineers and Dept. of Veterans Affairs construction.

The package also deleted specified projects and other "earmarks" in House and Senate 2007 appropriations bills for non-defense, non-homeland security agencies.