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Transportation bill hits roadblock

Feb. 24, 2012 at 3:08 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is revamping his transportation bill amid opposition from some Republican members, officials said.

Boehner's highway reauthorization bill proposed using $260 billion in revenues from oil drilling to finance infrastructure improvements and create jobs, The Hill reported.

However, it has been met with resistance from Republicans, who oppose cuts in mass transit among other things, and complete opposition from Democrats.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said Thursday Republican House leaders are considering "a revamped approach" that would shorten the terms of the bill.

Boehner's revisions to the bill included shortening the terms from five years and scrapping a proposal to remove transit funding from the highway trust fund. Senate Democrats have been pushing for a two-year term.

"Given Senate Democrats' unwillingness to pursue a longer-term infrastructure and energy plan, House Republican leaders are considering a revamped approach that would retain the Speaker's vision of linking infrastructure to expanded American energy production, and allow Republicans to stay on offense on energy and jobs," Steel said.

GOP leaders are working with Boehner and the chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., to determine a path forward, Steel said.

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