House Transportation Bill Scrounging for Votes

Attacked from the left and right sides of the ideological spectrum since its release two weeks ago, Speaker John Boehner is struggling to find the 218 votes needed to pass the House transportation bill, write Russell Berman and Keith Laing.

In spite of widespread public support for improving the nation's transportation infrastructure, the $260 billion transportation bill, which landed with a thud nearly two weeks ago, is facing stiff headwinds in the House.

For far different reasons, of course, key factions of both parties are unlikely to support the GOP drafted bill. Democrats and centrist Republicans, such as Rep. Peter King (N.Y.), take issue with funding cuts for public transportation, bike paths and pedestrians, according to the authors. Conservative GOP members, such as the Tea Party caucus, "claim the bill is an unaffordable boondoggle."

Defeat of the bill in the House would be a major blow to the Republican leadership, including Speaker Boehner, who have "made the legislation a priority and the election-year centerpiece of the House GOP's jobs agenda."

The House process stands in stark contrast to the bipartisan transportation bill moving swiftly through the Senate.

A final vote on the House bill is slated for Friday.

Full Story: House Republicans facing big test as $260 billion highway bill heads for cliff


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