Construction industry officials were encouraged to see long-delayed highway-transit bills move to the House and Senate floors in early February, but their mood shifted when both measures stalled just before the Presidents Day break. Although votes on difficult amendments lie ahead, congressional leaders still view the bills as priorities and are seeking to regain the momentum.
In the House, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) decided to split up into separate parts the transportation-energy package he had constructed, apparently because there were not enough votes to approve the combined bill. On Feb. 16, the House did pass the energy portion on a vote that largely tracked party lines. That measure aims to spur offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling and use some of the resulting royalty payments to help fund road and bridge construction.