Transportation bill dies in House and Senate, signaling total gridlock for the 113th Congress
The transportation and housing bill went nowhere in both chambers of Congress last week, just before Congress was scheduled to go on its five-week August recess. Some political analysts say this signals the current Congress remaining on track to accomplish less than any other Congress in U.S. history.
In the House, the Republican leadership pulled the $44 billion bill because it didnt have enough votes. Moderates were dissatisfied with the low funding figures, according to media reports, which would cut $4.4 billion from last years spending.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) was furious. The bill today reflected the best possible effort, under an open process, to fund programs important to the American people including our highway, air and rail systems, housing for our poorest families, and improvements to local communities while also making the deep cuts necessary under the current budget cap, he said in a statement. He called the bills chances for passage when Congress returns in September bleak at best. The bill includes major cuts in funding for roads and bridges.
Over in the Senate, the Republicans succeeded in defeating consideration of that chambers version of the bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged fellow Republicans to defeat the motion that would have brought the bill for a vote. The Senate bill included $10 million more than the House bill.
The transportation bill was the first appropriations bill to be discussed by either chamber. Without funding for the fiscal year starting October 1, the government is poised to be shut down once again.Download Bulletin PDF