"Any chance of reforming the transportation bill, which advocates are clamoring for, will require deft political maneuvering to mollify ranking committee member Senator James Inhofe.
Several sources said that Boxer's cooperation with Inhofe is simple math. The $312 billion baseline for transportation over five years is insufficient to meet state of good repair needs and set the country on a course for innovation. Minnesota Representative James Oberstar, chair of the House Transportation Committee, has suggested $400-500 billion would be needed, while AASHTO and the American Public Transit Association (APTA) argue in their Bottom Line Report that at least $160 billion will be needed annually. In order get from $312 billion to $500 billion or better, Boxer will need to get approval for new revenue streams, which would require a filibuster-proof majority, something she might not get without Inhofe and other reluctant members on the committee.
Several interviewees also pointed to Senator Boxer's alliance with Inhofe on an amendment in the federal stimulus bill for an additional $50 billion in highway money as a bad sign."