House approves rule for transportation funding bill

The House on Wednesday approved a rule for considering a surface transportation spending bill, H.R. 622, and will debate that bill for an hour and vote on it later in the day. The bill funds federal transportation spending for the rest of FY 2011, at FY 2010 levels.

During debate on the rule, Democrats argued that the rule should be rejected because it does not allow any Democratic amendments to be considered, like several other rules Republicans have written.

The rule was approved in a party-line 256-169 vote, and less than 20 Democrats supported it. But the vote on the bill is likely to draw support from Democrats, which in recent weeks have rejected some rules but then found room to support the underlying bill.

On Tuesday, for example, only 15 Democrats supported the rule for the two-week spending bill, but 104 Democrats voted for the actual spending bill.