A sixty-day extension of SAFETEA-LU sounds like enough time for Congress to negotiate and pass a multi-year bill, doesn’t it? Maybe not.
Looking at the Congressional calendar, a 60-day extension would provide 18 scheduled legislative days for the House to pass its bill. And we know how THAT process has gone so far. And leadership and members are anxious to move on to other issues, such as the 2013 budget.
Once the House passes its bill, the Senate and House must negotiate their differences – which are likely to be significant. That is slightly complicated because near the end of a 60-day extension comes the Memorial Day legislative recess. On the other hand, Congress has a history of passing bills when faced with a deadline.
Of course the schedule can be adjusted, but that would be difficult given the Easter-related holidays which many Members will want to observe.
Thanks to Scott Bogren at Community Transportation Association of America for pointing this out. You can follow him on twitter: @CTMag1 and visit CTAA at www.ctaa.org/
Larry Ehl is the founder and publisher of Transportation Issues Daily. In the public sector, Larry was Federal Relations Manager for Washington State DOT; Chief of Staff to US Senator Slade Gorton; and was twice elected to the Edmonds School Board.