League of Cities: Highway bill shows the possibilities of bipartisanship

"It is often said that potholes do not have a party affiliation. The same can be said for many other issues as well," Ellis continued. "Our national economy needs, and our residents have a right to expect, Congress and the administration to work together and give cities the tools, like the transportation bill, to drive economic growth.”

Ellis said the transportation bill was "long overdue," but he said the new measure would give cities "the certainty to move forward and implement long-term transportation projects that our nation desperately needs."

The highway bill was part of a legislative burst of activity before the July 4 holiday that also included deals between Democrats and Republicans on student loan interest rates and the National Flood Insurance Program.

Obama is scheduled to sign the transportation bill on Friday afternoon after he returns to Washington from a campaign trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Obama has made clear he plans to run against Congress, accusing it of inactivity since Republicans took control of the House in 2010. But the broad, bipartisan legislation that Obama will sign Friday could complicate that message.