By Keith Laing
Rogers said the House's failure to approve the transportation and housing funding bill, which is commonly referred to as T-HUD, would likely mean that no new funding for the departments could be approved by Congress this year.
“The bill today reflected the best possible effort, under an open process, to fund programs important to the American people – including our highway, air and rail systems, housing for our poorest families, and improvements to local communities – while also making the deep cuts necessary under the current budget cap," he said. "In order to abide by sequestration budget levels, this bill cut $4.4 billion below the current, post-sequestration total to a level below what was approved for these programs in 2006 – over seven years ago."
The Senate is scheduled to hold a vote this week on a version of the transportation and housing funding bill that appropriates $10 billion to the departments than the version that was pulled on Wednesday by the House.
President Obama had threatened to veto the House's version of the funding bills for the transportation and housing departments, arguing that the measure cut too much funding that could be used for necessary infrastructure improvements.
Rogers said the measure's failure in the House on Wednesday proved Obama may have to swallow the House's funding level - if it can be approved by the lower level.
"With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago," Rogers said. "Thus, I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration – and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts – must be brought to an end. And, it is also clear that the higher funding levels advocated by the Senate are also simply not achievable in this Congress."
-Erik Wasson contributed to this report.