US Senate passes bipartisan transportation bill, all eyes on House
The US Senate this week passed a long(ish) term (two-year) federal transportation bill which is being heralded by many in the transportation industry as a major milestone for Congress and industry. The bipartisan legislation passed the Senate with a vote of 74-22 in favor. The US Chamber’s Janet Kavinocky has a nice, top-level assessment of the legislation, titled MAP-21 at the Free Enterprise blog.
The legislation will maintain current funding levels for two years, cut red tape for faster project delivery and provide certainty in an industry which thrives on long-term planning to drive down costs.
All eyes shift now to the US House where Speaker Boehner has had major trouble cobbling together the 218 votes needed to pass companion legislation. House leaders have gove back and forth on whipping H.R. 7 but are running into opposition from both conservatives and liberals to the Republican plan. T4 America has a comparison of the Senate legislation to the House legislation at their website. An option that seems obvious to some (see Sun Times editorial today) is for Speaker Boehner to work to pass the Senate bill which would most likely pass with both Democrats and Republicans supporting.