Sen. Boxer: 'Great progress' on highway bill negotiations; deal possible by end of June


Boxer is leading a 47-member committee of lawmakers that is trying to meld a two-year, $109-billion transportation bill that was passed by the Senate with a pair of temporary extensions of current funding that were approved by the House.

The lower chamber had sought to pass a five-year, $260-billion measure that was funded in part by increasing domestic oil drilling, and their short-term measures mandate approve of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline that has been rejected by President Obama.

But Boxer said Tuesday that leaders in the Republican-led House have been willing to negotiate the differences in the chambers' respective approaches to transportation funding in good faith.

"I am particularly pleased … by the willingness of Speaker BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA leadership menagerie of metaphorical scapegoats Boehner says 'unemployed' Trump 'has nothing else to do' but 'cause trouble' Boehner: 'There's a lot of leaders in the Republican Party' MORE to work with us to accomplish our mutual goal," Boxer said Tuesday. "I had a very good conversation with him yesterday, and he told me that he met with the leaders on his side and he told them to get the conference report done. He is working to make sure we get this done, and that is the best news that I had heard in a long time." 

Boxer vowed the lawmakers on the conference committee would complete their negotiations before the current funding for road and transit projects runs out.

"The conferees are fully engaged, we will have our conference report ready to circulate among the various colleagues by early June and we intend to have this bill on the desk of the president before June 30," she said.