Senate panel OKs limited funds for high-speed rail

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Democratic-led Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to provide $100 million to build high-speed rail lines, a small portion of what President Barack Obama has proposed for one of his economic priorities.

The panel voted by voice Wednesday to include the money in a $110 billion transportation and housing bill for next year.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the bill's author, included nothing for high-speed rail in the original measure, citing budget constraints.

But senators backed an amendment by No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois adding the money. He said it would be paid for with unspent money from past home district projects called earmarks.

In the Republican-run House, a subcommittee has approved legislation that denies any of the $8 billion Obama wants for high-speed rail next year.