GOP targets high-speed rail, transportation grants

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By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are pushing to eliminate money for high-speed rail and a popular grant program for transportation projects.

The belt-tightening comes as the GOP-led House works on $44 billion measure covering transportation and housing programs.

The legislation reflects the austere budget mandated by automatic cuts — the fallout from Washington's failure to address the deficit this spring.

Republicans also are trying to cope with stiff defense cuts by shifting money from domestic programs to the Pentagon.

Targets include "zeroing out" President Barack Obama's $3 billion-plus request for high-speed rail programs.

A Transportation Department grant program first established under Obama's 2009 economic stimulus bill also would be eliminated.

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