Senate GOP measure slashes housing rehabilitation funds, boosts Amtrak

IndustrialsAssociated 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.

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

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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.