Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 7, 2015

Senate Passes Highway Patch Boehner Plans to Reject

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wyden’s transportation amendment passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Tuesday approved a short-term patch to keep funds flowing to highway projects through Dec. 19, but Speaker John A. Boehner has already promised to strip the Senate provisions and send the House-passed bill right back.

After the Senate’s version of the bill passed 79 to 18 — Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah called it a “free vote…because the House is going to send this right back, they are going to strip everything out — after they’ve left” for the August recess.

Boehner is playing hardball.

“I just want to make clear, if the Senate sends a highway bill over here…we’re gonna strip it out and put the House- passed provisions back in and send it back to the Senate,” the Ohio Republican told reporters Tuesday morning.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also predicted that the House package would likely be the patch that the Senate ends up passing.

“Yes, there will be a highway bill,” McConnell told reporters. “It either will be finished today in the Senate with the Senate adopting the House bill, or, I believe the speaker has made it clear that if it goes back to the House, it will come back over here the way the House passed it the first time.”

“But in any event, we will have a highway measure pass here before the end of the week.” McConnell said.

When asked about the matter, Senate Majority Leader Reid, D-Nev., would only pledge “We’re going to pass a highway bill before we leave here.”

Congress has to come up with about $10 billion to plug the shortfall needed to fund transportation projects through the end of the year, given that the Highway Trust Fund — the collection of gas tax receipts doled out to states to pay for surface transportation projects — is expected to run out of money as soon as the end of the month.

Failure to act would cut off funding for transportation projects around the country and affect 700,000 construction jobs.

The Senate’s proposal is similar to a plan drafted and passed by the Senate Finance Committee except that it would now sunset the authorization on Dec. 19 in order to force Congress to draft and pass a longer-term proposal in the lame duck session after the midterm elections.

The original Finance panel package funded transportation projects through May. The tax committee’s package was approved by the Senate Tuesday 71 to 26.

The Senate then voted to change the Finance package with an amendment sponsored by Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. The amendment was approved 66 to 31.

Along with cutting off funding after Dec. 19, the Boxer amendment also dropped the pension smoothing offset from the Finance Committee package. Pension smoothing — which delays payments made by corporations to their pension funds, temporarily boosting their profits and taxes paid to the government — had been targeted by some Democrats to offset an unemployment extension, while others sought to use it to restore for health and pension benefits for coal miners.

Those details differ from the House-passed bill, which would fund transportation programs through May and uses pension smoothing as its biggest offset.

Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised the Senate’s action and held out hope that the Senate proposal could be considered in the House.

“The Finance Committee outlined a clear, bipartisan plan forward,” Wyden said. “And the Senate stood behind the merits of our amendment. And I’ve said from the very beginning we aren’t going to let the clock run out and we’re gonna get this done and I plan to talk to the House leadership on both sides as soon as possible.”

Boxer also lauded the Senate’s action.

“By an overwhelming vote, the Senate agreed to extend surface transportation programs until December 19th, which will ensure that the Congress comes together as soon as possible to put together a multi-year bill,” Boxer said in a release. “Our bill also turns away from smoke and mirrors by doing away with ‘pension smoothing,’ which is a dangerous gimmick that could lead to pensions being underfunded. My deepest thanks go to Senators Wyden, Carper, and Corker for their leadership.”

Niels Lesniewski and Bridget Bowman contributed to this article.

Comments (73)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. P.K.Linwood

    July 30, 2014
    10:31 p.m.

    Why is it that the American people have to understand how Washington works, but it’s so hard to get “Washington” to understand how the American people work? Washington expects the American people to sit on their hands, while they take care of special interests.

  2. Chad Hatten Houston

    July 31, 2014
    8:21 p.m.

    exactl pk

  3. kdjustice

    Aug. 9, 2014
    11:57 a.m.

    The American people plan to reject John Boehner and bring his political career to an abrupt end.

  4. PeterLorree

    Aug. 10, 2014
    9:26 a.m.

    Wasn’t the 787+ billion dollar “stimulus” supposed to build bridges and roads and do all that “shovel ready” work? Whatever happened to all that money?

  5. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    6:14 a.m.

    I’ve been browsing online greater than 3 hours as of late, but I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It¦s beautiful price sufficient for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the web will likely be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  6. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    2:16 p.m.

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told used to be a leisure account it. Look advanced to more delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  7. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    7:55 a.m.

    Just what I was looking for, thankyou for putting up.

  8. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    11:56 p.m.

    I’ve recently started a site, the info you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  9. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    8:10 a.m.

    I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve you guys to my personal blogroll.

  10. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    2:29 p.m.

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  11. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    2 a.m.

    Some really superb articles on this web site, thanks for contribution.

  12. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    4:25 a.m.

    I visited a lot of website but I believe this one has something special in it in it

  13. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:40 a.m.

    Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!

  14. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    8:57 a.m.

    Would you be taken with exchanging links?

  15. eebest8

    July 20, 2015
    10:36 p.m.

    Please let me know if you are looking for a article author for your blog. You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off,

  16. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    4:44 p.m.

    Hello my loved one! I want to say that this article is amazing, great written and come with approximately all vital infos. I would like to look more posts like this .

  17. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    11:20 p.m.

    This is a very good tips especially to those new to blogosphere, brief and accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article.

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    6:14 p.m.

    Together with the whole thing which seems to be building throughout this specific subject material, all your points of view happen to be quite radical. Having said that, I beg your pardon, but I can not subscribe to your whole strategy, all be it stimulating none the less. It seems to everyone that your remarks are not completely validated and in simple fact you are your self not thoroughly convinced of the assertion. In any case I did take pleasure in examining it.

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    5:13 a.m.

    HdpU1p Thanks for sharing this fine post. Very interesting ideas! (as always, btw)

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:42 a.m.

    Yay google is my queen helped me to find this great internet site! .

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    7:57 p.m.

    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    5:20 a.m.

    Very good written post. It will be useful to everyone who employess it, including myself. Keep up the good work – i will definitely read more posts.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    1:53 p.m.

    Greetings! Very helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    4:49 p.m.

    I like this web blog very much so much superb info .

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 17, 2015
    10:25 p.m.

    You made some respectable points there. I appeared on the web for the problem and found most people will go together with with your website.

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    7:36 a.m.

    Awesome website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    9:40 a.m.

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    3:34 p.m.

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    10:23 p.m.

    Some truly nice and useful info on this internet site, likewise I believe the pattern has got great features.

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    7:17 p.m.

    Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    10:22 p.m.

    Wohh precisely what I was searching for, appreciate it for posting.

  32. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    9:25 p.m.

    Thank you so much for providing individuals with such a terrific chance to read critical reviews from this site. It’s usually so amazing and also packed with amusement for me and my office acquaintances to search your site at the least thrice every week to see the new guides you will have. And of course, I am just usually motivated for the cool methods you give. Selected 2 ideas in this post are in reality the most suitable we have had.

  33. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    10:58 p.m.

    I have recently started a site, the information you offer on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    11:04 a.m.

    VO4NEj You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren at afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  35. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    11:43 a.m.

    Great line up. We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  36. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    1:27 p.m.

    Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your web site in internet explorer, would test this?K IE nonetheless is the market leader and a big component of other folks will miss your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  37. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    6:26 p.m.

    Rattling instructive and superb bodily structure of written content, now that’s user friendly (:.

  38. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    10:45 p.m.

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for info about this subject for ages and yours is the best I have discovered till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?

  39. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    2:02 a.m.

    Very interesting details you have remarked, appreciate it for putting up. “Opportunities are seldom labeled.” by John H. Shield.

  40. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    10:03 p.m.

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely liked reading all that is posted on your site.Keep the information coming. I loved it!

  41. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    10:11 a.m.

    I will right away grab your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me realize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  42. Anonymous

    Sept. 8, 2015
    11:21 a.m.

    Well I sincerely liked studying it. This tip provided by you is very helpful for proper planning.,about,index.html

  43. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    8:23 a.m.

    Definitely, what a magnificent site and educative posts, I will bookmark your blog.Have an awsome day!

  44. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    9:05 a.m.

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I to find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to provide something again and aid others like you helped me.

  45. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    3:24 a.m.

    Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, thankyou. “All things are difficult before they are easy.” by John Norley.

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    11:55 a.m.

    Great tremendous issues here. I am very glad to look your article. Thanks a lot and i am having a look ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  47. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    12:05 p.m.

    Superb post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

  48. federated insurance claims

    Sept. 19, 2015
    7 p.m.

    Thanks for detailed review.. Waiting for future notes

  49. esurance insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:02 a.m.

    Thanks for great info, I will you use it for my review!

  50. esurance insurance quote

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:26 a.m.

    Get quotes on Esurance for auto and home policy. Save with esurance quote!

  51. esurance car insurance reviews

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10:40 a.m.

    Compare esurance quotes to save more on auto and home insurance policies.

  52. state farm quotes

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:23 p.m.

    Save more with us and online auto insurance comparison. It takes only few minutes to get quotes and save on home or auto insurance policies.

  53. state farm car insurance

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:55 p.m.

    Thanks for great info, I will you use it for my review!

  54. state farm auto insurance quotes

    Sept. 20, 2015
    4:55 p.m.

    Whats amazing note here. It would be great to use your info for future posts or comments.

  55. amica mutual insurance

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:55 a.m.

    It takes only few minutes to get quotes and save on home or auto insurance policies.

  56. american mutual

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:58 a.m.

    Combine & compare to save more on quotes. Get cheapest insurance here

  57. amax auto insurance san antonio tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:21 p.m.

    Combine & compare to save more on quotes. Get cheapest insurance here

  58. amax insurance cedar hill tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:55 p.m.

    Best quotes in the USA on auto and home insurance. Get quotes by zip code and save on policy!

  59. amax ins

    Sept. 22, 2015
    6:29 p.m.

    Save on cheapest rates with out insurance companies. Get quotes on home and auto insurance by zip code.

  60. Anonymous

    Sept. 22, 2015
    11:53 p.m.

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again


    Sept. 23, 2015
    6:18 a.m.

    Combine & compare to save more on quotes. Get cheapest insurance here

  62. federated mutual insurance quotes

    Sept. 23, 2015
    11:29 a.m.

    Best quotes in the USA on auto and home insurance. Get quotes by zip code and save on policy!

  63. Anonymous

    Sept. 24, 2015
    1:46 a.m.

    Thanks for another great post. Where else may just anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  64. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    4:21 p.m.

    After all, what a great site and informative posts, I will upload inbound link – bookmark this web site? Regards, Reader.

  65. cheap homeowners insurance quoies

    Sept. 28, 2015
    11:36 a.m.

    Compare quotes by zip code instantly. Save up to $520 on combined auto policies!

  66. the commerce insurance company

    Sept. 29, 2015
    5:36 p.m.

    Save more with us and online auto insurance comparison.

  67. Anonymous

    Sept. 30, 2015
    9:49 a.m.


  68. Anonymous

    Oct. 1, 2015
    1:29 a.m.


  69. www.acuity

    Oct. 1, 2015
    4:52 p.m.

    Compare quotes to save more on auto and home insurance here.

  70. acuity agent login

    Oct. 1, 2015
    5:24 p.m.

    Its easy and fast to get insurance quotes by 5 digit zip code.

  71. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    7:01 a.m.

    Como Gran Canaria se desterrona Un fulcro adinerado. Cuando Gran Canaria menudea El verde leucofeo

  72. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    1:11 p.m.

    *you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

  73. Anonymous

    Oct. 2, 2015
    1:21 p.m.

    *An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...