Deron Lovaas, Federal Transportation Policy Director, Washington, D.C.
Here's the state-of-play with transportation law:
The Senate passed a bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, MAP-21, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 74-22. This lobbed a nice easy proposal to the chamber on the other side of Capitol Hill, which has managed only fits and starts towards its own bill.
Last week was Easter recess, and NRDC colleagues and I have been getting the word out that the House needs to pass the balanced, bipartisan Senate bill.
This week, however, House Leadership once again surprised no one by taking a partisan tack with the transportation bill. It proposed extending current law by 90 days instead of passing the MAP-21 (which is now readily available for passage as a House bill, H.R. 14), and topped that by attaching an unrelated provision (what’s aptly termed a “rider”) – pushing approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. As my colleague Susan Casey-Lefkowitz notes this bogs down a much-needed (if lackluster) jobs bill with a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry. Predictably, it attracted a veto threat right away from an Administration guarding its prerogative to make a decision regarding the pipeline.
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