The Senate's transportation measure was thought to be on a path toward quick approval because it had won bipartisan support in several committees earlier this year. But it has since become bogged down by amendments Democrats have derided as non-germane to the road and transit issues since coming to the floor before the February recess.
Thirty-seven amendments on the bill remain to be considered, but Reid filed on Friday for a procedural vote to cut off debate and move toward final passage. A vote on the call for proceeding could come as early as Tuesday.
Also this week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will testify Thursday before the House Appropriations subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies on President Obama's budget request for the 2013 fiscal year. The president requested $74 billion for the Department of Transportation and called for a transportation bill that spent $476 billion over six years, which is much more and much longer than either of the bills being considered in Congress at present.
Additionally, on Wednesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will consider the budget request for the Coast Guard.