The week ahead: Highway talks move behind the scenes

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Mica and Boxer are now spearheading a 47-member conference trying to bridge the difference between the legislation that was approved by their respective chambers. After the panel's first meeting last week, Mica said he was cautiously optimistic.

“I am going to meet with Ms. Boxer next week, we will have our first one-on-one," Mica said. Asked how the negotiations were going, he said, "[S]taff has done some good preliminary work and they are moving along, so we will see."

Mica added that the lawmakers appointed to the conference committee will break into "working groups" to talk about contentious issues involved in the negotiations.

“They are divided by subject, and I think that is about finalized, so maybe next we will have our first meetings of the members," he said. "The staff has been doing similar work [but] we actually want members to be engaged in the process."

Additionally, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will meet Wednesday to review the Coast Guard's five-year capital improvement plan.

Also on Wednesday, Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta will address the Aero Club of Washington.