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J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes questions during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 29, 2012.

WASHINGTON — Congress has passed a stopgap three-month bill to keep federal highway and transit aid flowing and avoid a widespread shutdown of construction projects.

The House acted first, passing the extension on a mostly party-line vote after Republicans rejected Democratic entreaties to take a comprehensive overhaul of transportation programs.

The Senate approved the House's extension by a voice vote a few hours later despite objections from some Democrats.

President Barack Obama's signature is required by Saturday, when the government's authority to spend money on transportation programs expires.