The Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan multiyear highway funding measure, taking the lead over the House of Representatives in the race to pass legislation to enable road and bridge projects for the long term.

But the bill won't go far, at least for now, because the House has already adjourned for the summer. The Senate will also pass a short-term funding measure sent from the House, which will pay for highway projects until Oct. 29.

The Senate's multi-year bill would authorize transportation funding for six years and pay for the first three years by stepping up tax code enforcement and selling off a significant portion of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It also includes a provision that would revive the expired Export-Import Bank, which had to stop taking on new projects after June 30 when its authorization expired.

The Senate passed the longer-term bill 65-34, but the vote happened too late for consideration in the House, which adjourned Wednesday for a five-week recess. House lawmakers were eager to leave town in order to escape having to consider the Senate bill.

In an unusual bipartisan agreement, both Republicans and Democrats in the House rejected the Senate measure, in part because it only funds half of the six-year authorization for highway projects. Instead, the House passed and sent to the Senate the short-term measure, which costs $8 billion.

It's the 35th stopgap bill in a decade used to fund road surface projects.

Senate lawmakers agreed to pass the stopgap measure, in part because House lawmakers have promised that when Congress returns in September, both chambers would try to hammer out a joint, longterm highway funding plan that can clear Congress and make it to the president's desk for signature.

Lawmakers in both chambers are eager for such a longterm deal, which would lower the overall cost of highway funding and would make it easier to plan larger construction and repair projects.

"I think we've shown that a longer term bill is a realistic goal and a preferential option to yet another longterm patch," Sen Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday.

To come to that accord, however, the two chambers will have to bridge a disagreement over how they should pay for a multi-year measure.

While Republicans in the Senate want to steer clear of a tax increase, House Republicans have proposed using international tax reform revenue to pay for the bill. The House idea has gained some traction among Republicans in the Senate, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he wants to reform international tax issues separately from a highway funding bill.

Despite that hurdle, lawmakers are committed to finding an agreement that ends the stopgap spending, McConnell said Thursday.

"The multi-year nature of this legislation is one of its most critical components," McConnell said. "It's also something the House and Senate are now united on."