The House plans to approve a three-month highway spending bill on Wednesday and then leave town, forcing the Senate to approve the short-term measure to prevent a lapse in funding.
Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air Conservatives to Congress: Get moving Boehner: ObamaCare repeal and replace 'not going to happen' MORE (R-Ohio) discussed the decision with his conference at a closed door meeting on Tuesday before confirming the news to reporters.
"I want a long-term highway bill that is fully paid for," Boehner said. "That has been the goal all year and that continues to be the goal.
The fight has cut across both parties, with Senate and House Republicans pitted against one another, and Democrats also divided in the Senate.
House Republicans prefer the short-term measure because they want to buy time for negotiations with the White House over tax reform that could be used to pay for a longer highway bill.
The new House measure, which was introduced late Monday evening, would extend highway funding until Oct. 29, 2015 — setting up a new deadline for Congress.
“It will give us enough time for our committee to do our work, get something on the board and go to conference,” Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said after he emerged from a closed door meeting with House Republicans on Tuesday morning.
Lawmakers are facing a July 31 deadline for renewing the nation's transportation funding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) crafted the upper chamber's bill, which could move toward a final vote on Wednesday.
The bill includes a five-year renewal of the Export-Import Bank, which saw its charter expire last month. Winning the bank's renewal is a priority for the White House, Democrats and business groups, but is opposed by conservatives in both chambers.