By JAKE SHERMAN, BURGESS EVERETT and ADAM SNIDER
3/27/12 4:07 PM EDT Updated: 3/28/12 5:29 AM EDT
The House is once again at a standstill on the highway bill, just days before federal funding would be shut off and Congress skips town for its two-week recess.
Republicans yanked a 60-day extension of highway programs late Tuesday, after it became clear that Democrats would withhold their support for a short-term bill until Republicans agree to also pass a longer-term bill that will serve as their negotiating position in a few weeks when they conference the bill with the Senate. Republicans are planning a bill filled with energy policy to joust with the Senate’s bill.
There’s a serious timing issue in play: House Republicans want to leave town Thursday afternoon for a two-week recess, and they’re spending more than five hours Wednesday debating the budget and various alternative proposals.
And privately, top House GOP sources said they doubt Democrats would maintain their opposition by voting against a short-term measure as Congress is readying for its spring break. Furthermore, a shutdown of highway projects this close to the election is politically unpalatable for both sides, sources said... FULL ARTICLE
Wed, March 28, 2012
by John Cox