The House tonight passed H.R. 5021, Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, and sent it to the Senate for final action.The White House says it will accept the House bill, however the President today called on Congress to pass a long-term highway bill similar to one Senator Barbara Boxer has ready to go in the Senate. Senator Boxer chairs Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee which has original jurisdiction over a long-term bill; the Finance Committee is responsible for funding it.
Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid could:
Accept the House bill H.R. 5021 as received;
Amend the House bill with the Boxer bill;
Amend the House bill with the bi-partisan Wyden-Hatch highway bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee;
Attach EXPIRE to any of the above and vote on passing it as part of a Senate amendment to H.R. 5021.
If the Senate votes to amend the House bill, it would be returned to the House for final action.
At this point, Senator Reid has made no decisions.
Our efforts are aimed at bringing together a bi-partisan group of senators, a “gang of ten” committed to work for passage of the original EXPIRE bill without amendments. We’ve approached Republican Senators Grassley, Roberts, Moran, Portman, Coats, Chambliss, Hoeven, and Collins to join the Republican side, which several Democrats are ready to join if the Republican side comes together. We’re asking Senator Grassley to take the lead forming the Republican side, so far with no commitment by the Senator. We believe five of the eight aforementioned Republicans are ready to join “the gang” and make the sixty votes to pass EXPIRE, either as an amendment to H.R. 5021 or as a stand-alone bill—our last chance before adjournment. It’s critical that you reinforce our efforts in your contacts with these senators—what we’re asking them to do is commit to vote for cloture when EXPIRE comes to the floor. The matter is urgent and important, all must weigh in!
Call me to coordinate if you are in touch with these senators, 703-587-4566.
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition