House may look to change highway bill extension

By |  April 16, 2012

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) reports that the U.S. House of Representatives could act as early as this Wednesday (Apr. 18) to move forward with a 90-day extension of the surface transportation program (from June 30 to Sept. 30) at level funding and attach the Keystone XL pipeline approval to the extension.

According to Speaker John Boehner’s office, the ultimate goal is to produce a bill that:

  • Maintains current FY 2012 funding levels.
  • Reauthorizes and reforms policy and programs.
  • Includes energy provisions such as the Keystone XL pipeline or expansion of domestic energy production.
  • Runs at least through the Senate bill’s Sept. 30, 2013, expiration date.

NSSGA says Republican leaders are gauging their members to see if they will support the combined Keystone XL/surface transportation extension bill. The legislation is scheduled to be brought up in the House Rules Committee at 3 p.m. Tuesday and could be on the floor Wednesday.

The association adds that House Republicans hope to force senators to attach the Keystone XL language to the Senate’s bill. This may put some senators in a difficult position, NSSGA says, as Republican Jim Inhofe (Okla.) and Democrat Mark Begich support both Keystone XL and MAP-21, but may worry that combining the two could bring them both down.

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