The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved a transportation spending bill that would continue the freeze on vehicle fuel-economy standards, a blow to environmentalists who argue that the current standards, set in 1975, are far too low. Enviros had not expected the House to vote in favor of lifting the freeze, which has been in place since 1995, but they had at least hoped to have a number of lawmakers on record as supporting such a move, which might have encouraged President Clinton to veto the bill. Instead, Democrats failed to even offer an amendment on the House floor that would have lifted the freeze. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) may have discouraged any challenge to the freeze for fear of antagonizing labor unions.