By Keith Laing - 08/04/11 04:18 PM EDT
Some observers have suggested the federal highway bill, which authorizes the government to collect taxes on gasoline purchases, could be the next shutdown between Republicans and Democrats in Washington after the FAA was partial shutdown on what appeared to be a routine extension. The current highway bill expires Sept. 30.
The chambers are very far apart on their proposals for a new Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU, transportation bill.
The Senate has proposed a two-year, $109 billion bill, while the House has offered a six-year, $230 billion bill.
Transportation advocates generally favor the length of the House bill, but the per-year amount of the Senate's.
Both proposals are far less than the $556 billion President Obama proposed spending on transportation over six years earlier this year.
But O'Sullivan said Thursday that Senate's short-term bill was far better than the House's longer proposal.
“The Senate’s plan puts us on the right path, but the House GOP bill waves a white flag of surrender,” he said. We can’t let this opportunity pass us by. We can create jobs, invest in our needs, get our economy moving and ensure America’s global competitiveness while leaving behind real assets for taxpayers and future generations.”