House to vote on bill that expands drilling to pay for infrastructure

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday that the House will vote on legislation in the coming months that would use revenue generated from an expansion of domestic oil drilling to fund infrastructure projects.

“In the coming weeks and months, the House will take action on the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, which will link expanded American energy production to high-priority infrastructure projects like roads and bridges in order to create more jobs,” Boehner said in a statement Monday.

{mosads}The legislation is likely to face opposition from Democrats and the White House, which oppose major expansions of domestic oil and gas drilling like the ones proposed in the legislation. 

The bill calls for new offshore oil-and-gas leasing and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling. Drilling in ANWR is a political no-go for most Democrats.

Infrastructure legislation has faced a bumpy road in the Senate, where lawmakers rejected both Republican and Democratic bills in November. The bill proposed by Democrats, which was based in part on Obama’s broad jobs package, would have spent $60 billion on transportation infrastructure.

The plan to bring up the GOP bill in the House when Congress returns signals another high-profile clash on infrastructure this year.

Boehner also said Monday that he will lead a seven-member congressional delegation to Latin America. The delegation — which will stop in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico — “will focus on jobs, energy and economic security issues,” according to Boehner’s office.

“The delegation also will focus closely on energy issues — studying the economic impact of pro-energy domestic policies being implemented by nations such as Brazil, and visiting with American energy producers forced to create jobs overseas by excessive Washington laws that keep most U.S. energy resources on federal lands under lock and key,” Boehner said.

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