Three new Republicans on Wednesday were named to the powerful Appropriations Committee ahead of work on a possible omnibus spending package for fiscal 2014.
The Kentucky Republican said he still has some hope a budget deal could be done.
Lawmakers in the House and Senate formally opened negotiations on an $8.2 billion bill to boost U.S. ports and waterways on Wednesday.
The bicameral conference committee on a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) met for the first time as lawmakers began their attempt to hash out a bipartisan compromise that has often eluded them in recent years.
“I just got back from Brazil,” Biden said. “You think they’re not investing in their ports?"
The dairy fight in the farm bill conference continues to simmer, with a group of House members calling on the farm bll conference to abandon controls on milk production.
Angst is mounting about the work of the budget conference, which has met only twice.
A bill filed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) would gradually eliminate federal funding of transportation projects.
The measure, which has been dubbed the Transportation Empowerment Act (TEA), would lower the gas tax that currently pays for most federal transportation projects from 18.4 cents-per-gallon to 3.7 cents in five years.
During the same time period, the bill would transfer authority over federal highways and transit programs to states and replace current congressional appropriations with block grants.