The U.S. Senate on March 2 approved a temporary continuing resolution to fund the federal government through March 18. The two-week spending bill, which was approved by the House March 1, cleared the Senate by a 91 to 9 vote.

The president is expected to sign the bill, which includes $4 billion in cuts. Construction programs facing reductions include: $650 million from highways, $293 million from other surface transportation projects and $341 million from Corps of Engineers Civil Works.

The House passed a nine-month extension on Feb. 19 that includes $61 billion in cuts. Senate Democrats say the cuts would cost jobs and hamper the bourgeoning recovery, but Republicans say the reductions are necessary.

Shortly after the Senate passed the bill, President Obama issued a statement calling on Democratic and Republican leaders from the both chambers to meet with White House staff to “find common ground” on developing a compromise that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

“This agreement should cut spending and reduce deficits without damaging economic growth or gutting investments in education, research and development that will create jobs and secure our future. This agreement should be bipartisan, it should be free of any party�s social or political agenda, and it should be reached without delay,” he said.

This file replaces an earlier version from 03/01/2011.