This week: All roads lead to floor votes for transportation bills


The House bill has come under criticism from activists on both the right and left, who are arguing, respectively, that it spends too much money on transportation and that it does not spend enough on public transit and "transportation enhancements" like sidewalks and green space.

The Speaker has also riled Democrats by suggesting tying infrastructure spending to increased domestic oil drilling. The Senate created a package of tax loopholes that can be closed to provide $9.6 billion to counter the drilling proposal.

But quick passage of the Senate bill is not a sure thing, either. Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFormer Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer joins DC lobbying firm Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill MORE (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, warned her colleagues minutes after the first vote last week that the transportation bill could be taken off the fast track if is bogged down with non-germane amendments.

Boxer warned senators not to "mess up this bill" with what she called "extraneous matters."

Elsewhere this week, President Obama will roll out his 2013 budget and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will testify Wednesday before the Senate Budget Committee on the request for his department. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in 608 Dirksen.