In a show of bipartisanship, the Senate voted 85-11 to invoke cloture on its two-year, $109 billion surface transportation legislation. This places a time limit on consideration of the bill and thus precludes a filibuster that may have delayed consideration of the bill. Debate over S. 1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (“MAP-21”) bill could begin next week. The White House has suggested it prefers the Senate version to the House Republicans’ five-year, $260 billion plan.
Later this afternoon, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) will hold a public forum to discuss the House version of the transportation bill (H.R. 7 – Caution: This is an 847-page bill). The meeting will be held in Portland at the State of Oregon Building, 800 NE Oregon Street, Room 1-D at 3:00pm. Congressman Blumenauer has been very critical of the version of H.R. 7 that is moving through the House of Representatives. Click here for a recent blog post from the Congressman about the bill.
AGC of America has prepared a side-by-side analysis of both bills and compared them with AGC’s position. That analysis can be found here.
Congress has set a March 31, 2012 deadline to complete action on a transportation reauthorization bill. Once the bills have moved through the House and the Senate, they will go to a conference committee to reconcile differences between the two versions of the bills.