A 'clean' extension presumably means continuing the current funding level and not disallowing certain controversial expenditures such as for bike, ped', and other 'enhancements' (see Sen. Coburn's attempt below). However, the major controversies surrounding the actual reauthorization remain, such as the funding level, applications allowed, and whether it will be for six or two years. The extension is key to Obama's goal of providing more jobs, the main topic of his address to the nation on Sept. 8.
"The Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously agreed this morning (Sept. 8) to send a four-month extension of the transportation bill to the full Senate. Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) emphasized that it wasn't easy to get consensus on the extension."
"Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, the ranking member on the committee, voted for the clean four-month extension, saying it will buy the time needed to craft the two-year bill. He says he won't support Sen. Tom Coburn's push to kill transportation enhancement funding, which includes bicycle and pedestrian projects – for now. But when it comes to the two-year bill, Inhofe would like to say goodbye to all bike/ped projects."
E&E reports: "The House must also approve a short extension of the bill before the end of the month. Mica has agreed to the extension, but his committee hasn't scheduled a markup."
Thanks to D.C. Streetsblog