President Obama signed a bill reinstating transportation funding and ending a two-day furlough of 2,000 U.S. Department of Transportation employees.
The measure, which also extended unemployment benefits, was passed 78-19 by the Senate Tuesday night after Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) ended his effort to block the measure, which had resulted in the DOT furloughs on Monday and Tuesday.
Furloughed federal workers will return to work last Wednesday morning, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. Affected workers included those from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the key federal agency that oversees trucking.
LaHood applauded the Senate for extending the “critical transportation funding” that had been held up since Friday. The move disrupted work for thousands of federal and transportation workers nationwide, he said in a statement.
American Trucking Associations last Tuesday had urged Congress to expedite passage of the legislation to restore the highway funding, while state transportation officials had scrambled to deal with the funding stoppage.