“They decided they are going to do some legislation,” said Reid, speaking of the three bills that make up the House transportation-funding proposal. “Now, that is a dandy.

“As I hear on the news, the Republican caucus ... over in the House is fractured and now they can’t figure out what to do with that bill,” he said. “[E]ven with the power of the Tea Party, that bill is so obnoxious and so out of control ... it appears they are not going to allow a vote on that because it is so bad."

Republicans, earlier in the week, divided the $260 billion transportation bill, the Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7), into three parts after it became clear the votes weren't there for packaging the provisions together.

The three bills are: H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, which is the main transportation authorization bill; H.R. 3813, the Securing Annuities for Federal Employees (SAFE) Act, which would force federal workers to pay more for their retirements; and H.R. 3408, the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale, the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy and Resource Security (PIONEERS) Act.

The Senate has also done work on its own surface transportation bill starting last week but so far has been prevented from making much progress due to inter-party strife. 

"I am terribly disappointed with where we are on this," said Reid. “I hope the House will take a page out of our playbook over here and work together."