Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., had to abandon his call for a 5-cent-per-gallon hike in the federal gas tax earmarked for bridge repairs, but on Thursday he got a consolation prize when the House of Representatives passed a $1 billion bill aimed at rebuilding structurally deficient bridges. The legislation also calls on the Transportation Department to update National Bridge Inspection Standards and to come up with a system for prioritizing bridge replacement projects. The White House said it opposes the $1 billion spending measure, but Thursday's vote of 367-55 is more than enough to override a presidential veto.

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