GOP Highway Bill Roundup: "Squabbling" Edition

Another week begins with Speaker Boehner’s highway bill still stuck in neutral, as House Republicans remain divided on a path forward for their partisan highway bill that destroys 550,000 jobs, rolls back safety and environmental standards, and fails to meet our nation’s infrastructure needs:

From Politico: “House Republicans are meeting in a ‘special’ session Wednesday to discuss how to move forward on Speaker John Boehner’s highway bill — the centerpiece of his jobs agenda, which has floundered in recent days…. Lawmakers left D.C. this week with no idea how the leadership would proceed with Boehner’s No. 1 legislative priority.”

From Roll Call:  “But the House transportation bill remains mired in intraparty squabbling and the GOP Conference is set to meet and discuss the subject on Wednesday. Boehner was forced to separate the transportation and energy components of the broad package two weeks ago, yet even that move did not jump-start consideration of either piece.”

From CQ: “For the third week, House GOP leaders will try to rework long-term legislation to set policy and reauthorize spending for surface transportation programs. After leaders spent the better part of last week trying to mollify members concerned about both cost and provisions, they have less than a month before they might have to decide instead on another short-term bill.  But even attempts to write a more limited reauthorization bill may not gain enough support— particularly from conservative and freshman Republicans — to win passage…. For now, GOP leaders are intent mainly on placating the revolt within their own party caucus.”

From National Journal: “House Republicans are stalled after Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, put off efforts to move an 18-month transportation reauthorization amid internal GOP opposition… House Transportation Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., has insisted the authorization for highway construction will not lapse. But GOP leaders have yet to outline a stopgap plan.”

No wonder Speaker Boehner wants to keep this bill in the shop. But with time running out to reach an agreement, Republicans need to put aside their partisan legislation and start working with Democrats on a real compromise.