House Abandons Short Highway Extension for an Even Shorter Highway Extension

Written by SK Ashby

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy seemingly made it clear that the House would not be voting on another highway bill, but that's exactly what they're doing today.

For reasons I cannot explain, the House will vote on a 3-month extension of current funding even though they've already passed a 5-month extension.

The House plans to approve a three-month highway spending bill on Wednesday and then leave town, forcing the Senate to approve the short-term measure to prevent a lapse in funding.

The new House measure, which was introduced late Monday evening, would extend highway funding until Oct. 29, 2015 — setting up a new deadline for Congress.

I have no idea what makes an October 29th deadline more attractive than a December deadline.

Speaker of the House John Boehner reportedly revealed the 3-month bill to his members this morning and reiterated his support for a long-term bill, saying that they've been working on a long-term bill "for four years" and it's time to "get it across the finish line."

Four years. To put it another way, Boehner has failed to pass a long-term highway funding bill for the entirety of his tenure as speaker. Boehner became the speaker 4 years ago in 2011.

I've seen no signs that Congress will pass a long-term bill before Boehner's speakership comes to an end. If congressional Republican leadership cannot manage to do so while they control both chambers of Congress, they certainly won't be able to do so when Democrats regain control of one or both chambers.