The week ahead: Highway bill talks enter week five

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But House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner on Trump tweets: He gets 'into a pissing match with a skunk' every day Boehner predicts GOP will 'never' repeal, replace ObamaCare Sudan sanctions spur intense lobbying 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 ReidConservative Senate candidate calls on GOP to end filibuster Ex-Reid aide: McConnell's 'original sin' was casting ObamaCare as 'partisan, socialist takeover' GOP faces growing demographic nightmare in West MORE (D-Nev.) and House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorSpecial interests hide behind vets on Independence Day What to watch for in Comey’s testimony Trump nominates two new DOD officials 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 BoehnerBoehner on Trump tweets: He gets 'into a pissing match with a skunk' every day Boehner predicts GOP will 'never' repeal, replace ObamaCare Sudan sanctions spur intense lobbying 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 BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs 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.