WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Congress could reach a deal on infrastructure spending by year's end, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on Thursday.

In remarks at the National Press Club, LaHood said that key lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Democratic-controlled Senate understand the pressing need for a long-term road, bridge and transit blueprint.

"I think we'll get an infrastructure program and I believe it will happen by the end of the calendar year," LaHood said.

House leaders are contemplating a six-year bill, while the Senate is working on a two-year plan.

Transportation construction programs have been kept alive since 2009 by short-term funding the extensions. The current one expires in March.

(Reporting by John Crawley)




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