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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 InhofeGraham: 'Game changer' if Saudis behind journalist's disappearance GOP senators ask EPA to block states that have 'hijacked' rule to stop fossil fuel production Pentagon releases report on sexual assault risk MORE (R-Okla.) and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFormer Dem aide makes first court appearance on charges of posting GOP senators' info online Ex-House intern charged with 'doxing' GOP senators during Kavanaugh hearing Capitol Police arrest suspect in doxing of GOP senators 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 bipartisan water infrastructure bill Lawmakers left with more questions than answers on Trump infrastructure plan Five obstacles to Trump's infrastructure ambitions MORE (R-Mo.); Candice Miller (R-Mich.); Rick CrawfordRichard (Rick) CrawfordWhy DOJ must block the Cigna-Express Scripts merger Elvis impersonator named Elvis Presley running for Congress Overnight Tech: Senate Dems want FCC chief recused from Sinclair merger | Tech rallies on Capitol Hill for DACA | Facebook beefs up lobbying ranks MORE (R-Ark.); Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem path to a Senate majority narrows Trump rails against Dems at Pennsylvania rally as Hurricane Michael batters Florida GOP lawmaker: The economy is so good, 'even Colin Kaepernick found a job' MORE (R-Pa.); Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdFormer aides alleging sexual harassment on Capitol Hill urge congressional action AP Analysis: 25 state lawmakers running in 2018 have been accused of sexual misconduct Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups MORE (R-Texas); Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio); Jeff Denham (R-Calif.); Reid RibbleReid James RibbleWith Trump, conservatives hope for ally in 'War on Christmas' GOP rushes to embrace Trump House stays Republican as GOP limits losses MORE (R-Wis.); Scott Perry (R-Pa.); Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallCook moves status of 6 House races as general election sprint begins 2 women win Georgia Dem runoffs, extending streak for female candidates Bourdeaux wins Georgia Dem runoff, in latest win by female candidates 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 BrownFormer Florida rep sentenced to five years in prison for fraud, tax evasion Genuine veteran charities face a challenge beating the fakes Former Florida rep found guilty of tax evasion, fraud MORE (D-Fla.); Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas); Elijah Cummings (D-Md.); Rick LarsenRichard (Rick) Ray LarsenTransportation Department watchdog to examine airplane cabin evacuation standards Dems win nail-biter in charity congressional soccer game Overnight Finance: Trump signs repeal of auto-loan policy | Justices uphold contracts that bar employee class-action suits | US, China trade war 'on hold' 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.