By Keith Laing - 03/12/12 10:15 PM EDT
The House had considered a bill that $260 billion transportation that would have provided funding for road projects for the next five years. But the measure was pulled by House leadership amid objection to its spending levels from both conservatives and liberals, who argued that it spent too much and too little on highway programs respectively.
The current funding measure for transportation projects - and the authority to collect the federal gas tax that traditionally funds them - is scheduled to expire on March 31.
LaHood used his remarks to the NLC Conference to call for the Senate to pass its bill - and for the House to take it up when they do.
"America is one big pothole," LaHood said during his speech.
"We need a bill to fix up our roads and bridges to get them in a state of good repair," he continued. "We hope the House comes back next week and takes a look at the Senate bill and either pass that bill or come up with one of their own."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that he plans to do exactly that unless the House GOP caucus can agree on a version of the transportation bill of its own. LaHood said Monday that he has not spoken with Boehner about the bill, but he has discussed the measure with Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), who is widely viewed as one of the speaker's top lieutenants, and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.).
LaTourette and LoBiondo had opposed funding cuts in the original House version of the transportation bill to public transit funding and bike and pedestrian programs.
LaHood criticized those provisions Monday, saying "the House had a five-year bill, but it didn't fund transit. How can that be?"
The Senate is expected to resume voting on amendments to its transportation bill Tuesday.