Thune voted earlier this month for the Senate's $109 billion bill that would fund transportation projects for the next years, and he was joined by 21 of his Republican colleagues. Democrats have used Senate Republicans' support for the upper chamber's version of the highway bill to pressure House leaders to accept it, though leaders in the majority party have left themselves room to take a short-term extension from the House.
"I am not inclined to go for this short-term extension they sent us," Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (D-Nev.) said Thursday, stopping short of saying he definitely would not accept it even as he castigated Republicans in the House for suggesting it.
"Funding for our highway system terminates the end of this month," Reid said Thursday. "They are going to have to feel the heat of the American people. 'They' meaning the Tea Party-driven House of Representatives."
—Josiah Ryan and Ben Geman contributed to this report.