Last week the President signed into law a bill (H.R. 662) to extend SAFETEA-LU through September 30, 2011. The House vote was 421-4, and the Senate passed the bill by a voice vote.

The President also signed into law a bill (HJR.44, PL 112-4) that continues funding for federal agencies through March 18. Congress enacted this two-week funding bill to provide more time to negotiate the wide differences between the Senate and House bills. The bill cuts nearly $1 billion in transportation programs and earmarks.

The House continues to press for a bill that would cut FFY 2011 spending by $61 billion. The Senate has revised its bill to reduce spending by $10.5 billion. The Senate will take a couple of test votes this week, which will show there's insufficient support for either of the current proposals.

Negotiations will continue, but it's very possible another short-term spending bill will be needed. If no compromise is then reached, both sides may be willing to suffer through a government shut down to help determine once and for all what the public will support.

Transportation hearings scheduled for this week:

House Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment: the President's FFY 2012 budget request for federal water infrastructure programs, 11am (Pacific).

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation, full committee hearing: USDOT's FFY 2012 budget request, 11:30am (Pacific).

House Appropriations, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development: FFY 2012 Army Corps of Engineers civil works budget request, 11am (Pacific)

Senate Environment and Public Works, full committee hearing: USDOT's FY 2012 budget request for the Federal Highway Administration, 11:15am (Pacific).

Senate Appropriations, Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing: USDOT's FFY 2012 budget request, 6:30am (Pacific)

House Transportation and Infrastructure -- Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials: increasing private sector participation in passenger rail service, 7am (Pacific).

Posted On 3/07/2011 03:09:00 PM by Larry Ehl |

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