White House: Obama will sign short-term roads bill
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President Obama would sign a three-month highway funding bill, the White House said Wednesday, though it ripped Republicans in Congress for failing to agree on a long-term solution.

“The unfortunate reality is that, due to inaction, Congress will need to pass this other short-term extension to keep federal funding for the surface transportation system flowing,” spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters. “The president would sign that.”

Schultz said a “level of distrust” among Republican leaders in Congress has prevented lawmakers from moving forward on a multi-year highway bill.


The White House also bashed GOP leaders for having the “gall” to leave town for August recess without reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and completing work on a cybersecurity bill.

“They are leaving town early to get a head start on their six-week break,” Schultz said.  “If you put that side-by-side with their inability to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank, that we are on the precipice of the highway trust fund running out at the height of construction season and that they have the gall to leave town without touching cyber security legislation. We think that’s revelatory of their priorities and we think those are misplaced priorities.”

House lawmakers are expected to leave Washington after votes on Wednesday, while the Senate will remain in session for another week, when it is expected to pass the stopgap bill to prevent federal highway funding from drying up.

The highway bill is just one measure on a lengthy to-do list Congress will face this fall, including government funding an a vote on the Iran nuclear deal.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate are at odds over highway funding, with leaders in the lower chamber saying they will not consider a six-year bill written by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance Five takeaways from a bracing day of Jan. 6 testimony McCarthy, McConnell say they didn't watch Jan. 6 hearing MORE (R-Ky.)

The three-month extension is expected to buy time to negotiate a long-term funding bill.

Accepting a short-term highway bill means the Export-Import Bank will lose a vehicle for its charter to be renewed.

The Senate bill includes a provision reauthorizing the bank, which is backed by the White House, Democrats and establishment Republicans but opposed by conservatives in both chambers.

Due to time constraints, Senate GOP leaders said this week the chamber is unlikely to move on a cybersecurity bill, a response to a series of computer hacks on government and corporate networks.

“I’m sad to say I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Eight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division Federal officials abroad are unprotected — in a world of increasing volatility MORE (R-Texas) told reporters this week. “The timing of this is unfortunate.”

The House passed companion cyber legislation in April, but the bill has run into roadblocks in the Senate.