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Transportation funding may be debated in February; LaHood says bill won't pass

Media reports say surface transportation funding could be debated next month but DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said a funding bill is 'very unlikely' to pass.

The Trucker News Services

1/26/2012

Funding for surface-transportation programs, which have been operating under short-term extensions since 2009, may be considered by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Feb. 2 and move to the full chamber for consideration later that month, Bloomberg News reported, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told a meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington yesterday that he thought it “very unlikely” that a reauthorization would pass because House and Senate differences are too great.

Those include Rep. John Mica’s insistence on a five-year bill and the Senate’s insistence on a two-year bill and the House proposal to fund the bill partly from increased off-shore oil and gas drilling, which Senate Democrats would be unlikely to support.

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The most recent extension ends on March 31. A Senate version of the measure was approved by the Environment and Public Works Committee in November.

According to Bloomberg, the House committee won a commitment from leaders for the full House to debate the surface-transportation bill in February and transportation industry officials will be briefed on Jan. 26.

 The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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