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Playing Politics: Transportation Spending Gridlock

Partisan deadlock over the federal transportation spending will begin taking a toll on Chicago's mass transit and highway expenditures if disagreements aren't ironed out by Saturday, warned transit officials. $1.2M a day in federal gas tax revenue will evaporate— the equivalent of two new buses, as The Tribune's John Hilkevitch points out. The doomsday scenario is that the deadlock will carry on long enough to jeopardize major construction projects slated for the warm season. According to a Senate report, layoffs would ripple across the land with up to 1.9 million transportation jobs cut. Here in Chicago, new bus purchases and popular 'L' station rehabs could be curtailed. [Trib]