Tuesday, May 8, 2012
by Tanya Snyder
The first meeting of the transportation bill conference committee is today at 3:00. (To familiarize yourself with the participants, see Ben’s reports on the House and Senate conferees.) We’ll be live-blogging it, beginning to end.
It’s unusual for conferences to meet in public, and leaders have indicated that this won’t be the only meeting they have in front of television cameras. Still, the sausage-making always happens behind closed doors. Here’s what we’ll be looking for as things get underway today:
Will anything come of it? “The first day will tell you exactly nothing,” Scott Slesinger, NRDC’s director of legislative affairs, told reporters last week. “You’ll walk out of there convinced that there’s no way they’re going to do a bill.”
In fact, the conventional wisdom right now is that this whole process will end in yet another extension, probably until the lame-duck session after the November election. But this conference committee could lay the groundwork for that bill. Both parties want to get a bill done, but Republican leaders are worried that their base will revolt at the sight of them negotiating with Democrats. So, in public they’ll be all hard-line rhetoric and uncompromising conservatism, and when the cameras are off they’ll horse-trade... FULL ARTICLE
Tue, May 8, 2012
by John Cox