House and Senate lawmakers have come to the negotiating table to begin talks aimed at producing a new surface-transportation law. Construction and state transportation officials, who have put up with nine short-term highway-transit measures since 2009, would love a quick deal. But negotiations are likely to go on for weeks.
The conference committee's May 8 initial meeting featured lawmakers' opening statements and, as expected, resolved virtually nothing. The real discussions between House and Senate aides and legislators have begun behind the scenes.