The week ahead: Highway bill talks enter week five

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But House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE (R-Ohio) raised the possibility last week of an extension that would only last six months, leading transportation industry observers to worry that the conference committee's negotiations will end up at a dead end.

A back-and-forth between Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidHopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs If Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first Senate confirms Mulvaney to be Trump’s budget chief MORE (D-Nev.) and House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorGOP shifting on immigration Breitbart’s influence grows inside White House Ryan reelected Speaker in near-unanimous GOP vote MORE (R-Va.) has added to the pessimism. Reid accused Cantor last week of trying to sabotage the U.S. economy by stalling the highway talks. A spokesman for BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE responded by calling the accusation "bulls--t."

Against that backdrop, the House will likely counter the Senate's draft of a possible conference committee report this week. Conference Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerCarly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report 
Democrats vie for chance to take on Trump as California governor MORE (D-Calif.) said last week that the Senate's initial proposal did not include House priorities like the authorization of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, but she said the offer "reflects a lot of their proposals."

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said last week that the lower chamber would counter the Senate's proposal in a "sequential manner," though he noted the House will be not be in session this week.