President Bush signs highway bill

President Bush has signed a massive
bill, saying it'll bring America's transportation network
into the 21st century.

In a ceremony at a Caterpillar plant west of Chicago, the president said the measure will finance needed improvements, cut congestion and save lives. Plus, he says it'll help create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Critics, however, call the 286 (B) billion-dollar measure a pork-laden monstrosity. They note lawmakers inserted more than six-thousand pet projects -- and despite two years of wrangling over costs, it's still 30 billion more than Bush proposed.

However, Bush called it fiscally responsible -- because it doesn't raise the federal gasoline tax. And he says the U-S economy depends upon America's having the most reliable, efficient transportation system in the world.

Bush signed the bill in House Speaker Dennis Hastert's home district on a break from his month-long ranch vacation in Texas.