Transportation Bill Extension Cut by Two-Thirds

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Instead of taking the next year and half to hammer out a reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, the Senate has decided it can do it in six months.

A Democratic aide and industry officials confirmed that the 18-month extension backed by both Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and James M. Inhofe (R-OK) — the chairwoman and ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, respectively — will be slimmed down after realizing it would be difficult to get backing from the administration.

The House, on the other hand, already passed a three-month extension that is slated to end on Dec. 23, with House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) opposing any extension beyond the end of the year.

With the clock ticking and health care taking a front seat in both the Senate and the House, it will be interesting to see the final outcome.