House appoints negotiators for highway bill talks with Senate

House appoints negotiators for highway bill talks with Senate

Lawmakers in the House moved quickly to appoint conferees to a potential conference on highway funding with the Senate after passing a $325 billion transportation package on Thursday morning. 

Both chambers are hoping to meet ahead of a Nov. 20 deadline for renewing federal road funding that is currently set to expire on that date. 

Leaders in the House appointed 16 Republicans and 12 Democrats to sit in on the forthcoming negotiations with the Senate, including Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who are the top ranking lawmakers on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. 

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“This is an outstanding, hard-working group of Members,” Shuster said in a statement.  “I am confident that we will be able to take the strong House bill approved today, resolve any differences we have with the Senate’s position, and produce a final measure that improves our nation’s infrastructure and reforms our transportation programs.”

The highway bill that was approved by the House on Thursday calls for spending $261 billion on highways and $55 billion on transit over six years. The legislation authorizes highway funding for six years, but only if Congress can come up with a way to pay for the final three years. The bill was approved in a 363-64 vote.

The Senate passed a similar piece of legislation that contained three years' worth of guaranteed highway funding in July, and lawmakers in the upper chamber have said they are eager to get to conference. 

"Today the House of Representatives gave strong bipartisan support for a long-term surface transportation bill, which enables us to move forward to conference so we can work out our differences and get this legislation to the President’s desk by Thanksgiving," said Sens. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeGillibrand expects vote on military justice bill in fall The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden backs Cuban protesters, assails 'authoritarian regime' Trump getting tougher for Senate GOP to ignore MORE (R-Okla.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerTrump decries 'defund the police' after Boxer attacked Former Sen. Barbara Boxer attacked in California Bottom line MORE (D-Calif.), who are the top ranking Republican and Democrat, respectively, on the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. 

"Businesses, labor, states, and local communities are depending on us to pass a consensus-based, bipartisan bill which provides funding certainty that will enable them to modernize our nation’s highways, bridges, and transit systems," the Senate duo continued. "We are also pleased that this bill provides the opportunity for increased investment in our aging infrastructure.”

Other Republican highway bill conferees announced on Thursday by the House include Reps. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.); Sam GravesSamuel (Sam) Bruce GravesHouse passes 0B package, hoping to sway infrastructure debate GOP lawmaker points to Colonial Pipeline as infrastructure vulnerability Gas shortages spread to more states MORE (R-Mo.); Candice Miller (R-Mich.); Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordGas shortages spread to more states Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats hearing MORE (R-Ark.); Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden wants Congress to pass abortion bill, pushes for Mideast cease-fire Ex-GOP Rep. Lou Barletta launches bid for Pennsylvania governor Republicans vie for Trump's mantle in Pa. Senate primary MORE (R-Pa.); Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdThe biggest political upsets of the decade Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations MORE (R-Texas); Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio); Jeff Denham (R-Calif.); Reid RibbleReid James RibbleThe Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Influential Republicans threaten to form new party Former Sen. Tom Coburn dies at 72 MORE (R-Wis.); Scott Perry (R-Pa.); Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns McCarthy guarantees GOP will take back House in 2022 Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day MORE (R-Ga.); John Katko (R-N.Y.); Brian Babin (R-Texas); Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.) and Garret Graves (R-La.). 

Additional Democratic House highway bill conferees include Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.); Corrine BrownCorrine BrownBottom line Former Florida rep sentenced to five years in prison for fraud, tax evasion Genuine veteran charities face a challenge beating the fakes MORE (D-Fla.); Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas); Elijah Cummings (D-Md.); Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenFAA: New manufacturing issue discovered in undelivered Boeing 787 Dreamliners Newest Boeing 737 Max takes first test flight Democrats seek answers from Boeing, FAA after production issues with 737 Max, Dreamliner jets MORE (D-Wash.); Michael Capuano (D-Mass.); Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.); Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.); Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.); Albio Sires (D-N.J.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).  

-Updated with new information at 2:04 p.m.