House GOP Scraps Vote on 90-Day Highway Bill Extension
Monday, March 26, 2012 - 05:08 PM
The move further complicates an already murky situation between the House and Senate just days before current highway legislation expires on March 31.
House Republicans had planned to pass a 90-day extension under an expedited procedure requiring 2/3 of the chamber's support. But Democrats balked at the extension. They favor a two-year, $109 billion bill that was passed with 74 votes by the Senate earlier this month. GOP leaders were forced to yank the measure from floor consideration when it became clear the 90-day extension lacked sufficient votes to pass.
"We are in the midst of bipartisan conversations about a short-term extension of the highway bill," said Michael Steel, a spokesperson for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). " To facilitate those conversations, the House vote on an extension will occur later this week rather than tonight."
Senate Democrats say they have no interest in a temporary extension, part of pressure tactics designed to get the House to accept the two-year bill. Still, Democrats haven't said that a temporary extension is off the table as a way to allow further House-Senate talks.
Follow Todd Zwillich on Twitter @toddzwillich