A one-year renewal of County Timber Payments passed the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as part of the major transportation bill. The senate voted 74-22 in favor of the bill, sending it to the House, where prospects for renewal of County Timber Payments remain uncertain. Oregon Democrat Senator Ron Wyden says restoration of the payments is urgently needed as struggling rural counties try to make ends meet. He says it would take years for comparable money to be generated by house proposals to replace the subsidies with mandates to increase logging on federal lands. Representative Greg Walden says he has commitments from the house leadership to fund a short-term extension of county payments.