U.S. Transportation Department furloughs 3,700 employees

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By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Transportation Department said 3,700 employees had been temporarily furloughed after Congress failed to reauthorize surface transportation programs before a deadline that expired early on Friday. A department spokesperson said the agency is “taking every step we can to mitigate the impacts of this temporary lapse in authorization” of the Highway Trust Fund. Safety-critical employees are exempt from the furloughs. Aides said U.S. lawmakers are considering a 30-day surface transportation extension as negotiations continue over a pair of infrastr…

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