After truckloads of political wrangling on Capitol Hill, both the House and Senate have approved a 90-day extension of the current federal highway and public transportation programs. The legislation has been sent to President Obama for signing.
The President will need to sign the 90-day extension before 11:59 pm on Saturday and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has indicated he will do so, noted a Politico.com Morning Transportation post. “While it is critical that we not put American jobs and safety at risk and hurt our economic recovery by allowing funding to run out, it is not enough for us to continue to patch together our nation’s infrastructure future with short-term Band-Aids,” said Carney per Politico.com. “… As soon as the House gets back to work, they should do their part and pass that bill in similarly bipartisan fashion.”
What the House voted on was a temporary 90-day “clean” extension (H.R. 4281) before adjourning for a two-week Easter recess. According to transportation consultant Ken Orski, 37 Democrats joined 229 Republicans in adopting the extension, “which left the Senate with little choice but to go along or risk being blamed for closing down the transportation program. In the Senate, the extension was adopted by a voice vote.