Deron Lovaas, Federal Transportation Policy Director, Washington, D.C.
Here’s the state-of-play with the transportation bill:
The Senate and House have appointed conferees from leadership and the various committees with jurisdiction over the bill, 14 from the Senate (8 Democrats and 6 Republicans) and 33 from the House (20 Republicans and 13 Democrats), yielding a grand total of 47 members of this group tasked with reconciling differences between these two bills. This is an important set of elected officials, since conference committees can technically also re-write portions of the bill so long as there’s confidence the final product can pass both chambers and be signed into law by the President.
Politico has a stable of excellent reporters who are covering the horse-race aspect of the conference, quoting Senator Rockefeller especially who claims that two of the biggest, worst non-transportation riders won’t make it into the final bill: Approval of the controversial Keystone pipeline and eviscerating regulation of toxic coal ash disposal.
The Senate should definitely stick to its guns, and has a lot of leverage to do so given the passage by a whopping 74-22 margin of MAP-21.
There’s another issue on the table that’s a bit more complicated, ...
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