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Boxer sees 'no path forward' on $109B Senate transportation bill

Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBottom line Trump administration halting imports of cotton, tomatoes from Uighur region of China Biden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status MORE (D-Calif.), the sponsor of the Senate's $109 billion transportation bill said Wednesday that she did not see a path forward for the measure in the upper chamber.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century bill (S. 1813), which is commonly referred to as MAP 21, had appeared to be moving quickly through the Senate after a vote to end debate on the measure was approved by a wide margin last week.

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But in a speech on the floor that Wednesday, Boxer said that the bill has been held up by "ridiculously unrelated amendments."

"Right now, there is no path forward," Boxer said even as she vowed to continue pushing for a clean vote on the transportation proposal.

"I don't see it," Boxer said. "It's one of those things where people just say 'I don't care. We're not going to (approve) this bill.'"

The Senate transportation bill, which is shorter than the controversial House version of the measure, has been hailed for its bipartisanship since was approved unanimously by several committees. The Senate bill  does not include provisions to expand oil drilling, but it has been bogged down amendments such as a measure from Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP lawmaker calls for Wuhan probe to 'prevent the next pandemic' All congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN Fauci on Rand Paul: 'I just don't understand what the problem is with him' MORE (R-Ky.) dealing with foreign aid to Egypt and an effort to contraception in their healthcare plans.

Boxer said Wednesday that she would not allow the transportation bill to be permanently stopped during the amendment process. 

"Everyone in America is going know that this is happening because I'm going to tell everyone in America it's happening," Boxer said.

“It’s hard to find the words, except to say… ‘What are you thinking?’” she said of amendments that had been filed for the transportation bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidStrange bedfellows: UFOs are uniting Trump's fiercest critics, loyalists Bottom line Biden's first 100 days is stylistic 'antithesis' of Trump MORE (D-Nev.) also criticized the GOP Wednesday for adding amendments to the transportation bill.

“We have made some progress in working to an end to the issues preventing us from moving forward on this bill,” said Reid from the floor. “There is enough importance in this bill to do just that.”

The back and forth over the progress of the Senate bill came as House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBipartisanship has become a partisan weapon The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez What's a party caucus chair worth? MORE BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBipartisanship has become a partisan weapon The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez What's a party caucus chair worth? MORE-delays-highway-bill-vote" href="http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/highways-bridges-and-roads/210787-boehner-delays-highway-bill-vote">postponed a vote on his chamber's six-year, $260 billion transportation amid speculation he did not have enough votes to win approval for the measure.

The Senate transportation bill received 85 votes on the motion to invoke cloture and proceed toward final passage last week.