Federal Transportation Agreement Seems Elusive

As yet another deadline for reaching agreement on federal transportation legislation approaches, Ben Goldman takes measure of the ominous signals emanating from negotiators.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: deadline for new transportation bill approaches, negotiators reach impasse, extension looms. Goldman looks at the latest news from Washington, as legislators run out of time to negotiate a comprehensive federal transportation bill. Unfortunately, the latest news sounds a lot like the old news .

"The latest update is that with only 11 calendar days and six legislative days in which to get a bill to the President, the 47 House and Senate negotiators seem as far as ever from reaching a deal," writes Goldman.

Although, as Todd Zwillich reports, Congressional leaders have, "told negotiators involved in faltering transportation bill talks to bear down and make an agreement," transportation industry sources, and even some House members, give an agreement little chance of happening.

According to Goldman, "If negotiations have indeed failed, the House has already passed an extension through September 30 which could be taken up by the Senate. However, it contains a number of things the Senate would be loath to pass, like aggressive environmental 'streamlining,' and at least one thing - the Keystone XL Pipeline - that has drawn a presidential veto threat. And remember that Congress is gone for the whole month of August, so a three-month extension is basically just a one-month extension likely to end in another extension."

Full Story: Extension(s) Imminent — a Reflection on Neverending Transpo Gridlock

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