Ryan touts 'open' highway bill amendment process

Ryan touts 'open' highway bill amendment process
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New House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIs Joe Biden finished? Krystal Ball previews fifth Democratic debate Former Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled MORE (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that the $325 billion transportation funding bill that is being considered by the House is "a good example of how we're going to do the people's business." 

Lawmakers have offered nearly 270 amendments to the highway funding measure, and Ryan said Tuesday that the open process for the infrastructure bill is a "good start" for his pledge to return to regular order in the House. 

"We're allowing members to participate in a way that the founders intended and we're advancing an issue that is a big priority to the hard-working taxpayers of this country: fixing our roads and our bridges, improving our transportation infrastructure," he said about the highway bill during a news conference on Tuesday. 

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"[Transportation Committee] Chairman [Bill] Shuster has done a phenomenal job putting this together. That's why we're going to have an open process on the floor with lots of amendments considered by all members from both parties." 

Ryan added the highway bill amendment process is "a good example of how we're going to do the people's business. 

"I've told people we're going to do more of this," he said. "I'm very committed to a complete set of changes to the House rules to make it a more deliberative and participatory process. We're going to do this as a team, and we're going to get this right together."  

The newly-minted Speaker also dismissed criticism that the House GOP's highway bill only contains three years worth of guaranteed infrastructure funding, pointing out that lawmakers will have revisit the issue before the additional years of spending are doled out. 

"It's a three-year bill that has three years of financing," he said. "And if we can come up with more financing down the road, we can add more years to the bill."