Senate GOP measure slashes housing rehabilitation funds, boosts Amtrak

Industrials Associated Press

Senate Republicans have slashed almost $1 billion from a program that helps state and local governments provide affordable housing in a bill funding housing and transportation.

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But as part of the $56 billion measure, Amtrak could get more money.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, says the cuts to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program were necessary to preserve housing vouchers for the poor. Only $66 million would be available for affordable housing for the upcoming budget year, which Democrats said could result in about 40,000 fewer units.

At the same time the measure preserves $500 million in funding for transportation grants that have roots in President Barack Obama's 2009 economic stimulus bill. The measure rejects House-sought cuts to Amtrak.