Streetsblog provides a video and text of "Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio's impassioned – and highly partisan – speech in favor of higher overall spending levels. In the past, he's often argued for more spending specifically for transit, but it appears he's altered his message to appeal to the highway people too. Note that he's asking not just for funding levels higher than the House's idea of a 30 percent cut, but higher even than this extension, which keeps spending at current levels."
A 'clean extension' apparently is one that keeps funding at current levels, which happen to exceed current gas tax receipts - which will be the main debate after the extension is exhausted and a new bill to replace the exhausted, $240 billion SAFETEA-LU is authorized.
From DC.Streetsblog: House and Senate Agree on 6-Month Transpo Extension (Sept. 12): "Over the weekend, the House and Senate decided to combine the long-overdue FAA reauthorization with the pending surface transportation bill, considering them together as one uniform transportation extension [PDF]. The FAA bill will be extended for four months, while SAFETEA-LU will be extended for six, with an expiration date of March 31."
Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters