“This bill will make traveling safer. … It also make crucial investments in housing,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “In contrast, the very partisan House housing and transportation bill … slashes investments in roads and bridges.”

There is a $91 billion difference in spending levels between the House and Senate appropriations this year. For the THUD bill, the difference is $10 billion. The Senate bill is  $54 billion, while the House has a $44 billion bill, which is a cut of $7 billion from last year’s spending level.

The House Republican bill heavily cuts the Community Development Block Grant program and high-speed rail projects, while Senate Democrats maintain most of that funding.

Reid said the appropriations bill is also important for America’s economy and job creation.

“We have 70,000 bridges in America that need repair. … Some need to be replaced completely,” Reid said. “It’s easy to see why this bipartisan effort to repair America’s crumbling infrastructure is so important. … It’s also an opportunity to create jobs.”

Reid said last week that he selected this appropriations bill to bring to the floor first to highlight the spending differences between the House and Senate, in an effort to push Republicans into forming a budget conference committee.