Chamber scoring votes in favor of transportation bill

Lawmakers are expecting to vote Friday to approve a compromise reached on a long-sought multiyear transportation bill after two months of contentious bicameral negotiations. The last transportation bill passed by Congress expired in 2009.

The 2009 bill would have needed to be extended for a 10th time if lawmakers had failed to reach an agreement. Transportation funding was scheduled to run out on June 30.

One project supported by the Chamber, the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, was dropped from the final agreement. A mandate forcing the Obama administration to approve the controversial pipeline was shelved to facilitate a deal on the measure between the House and Senate.

But despite the decision on Keystone, the group backed the bill in an alert to members on the forthcoming vote. 

“[T]he reforms in the conference report would make every federal dollar stretch even further: reducing the time it takes transportation projects to get from start to finish, encouraging public-private partnerships and use of private capital, increasing accountability for using federal funds to address the highest-priority needs, and spurring innovation and technology deployment."