As the Feb. 29 deadline approaches, the House is expected to vote as early as Feb. 11 on a bill to extend the federal highway and transit programs for four more months. The last authorization, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, expired Sept. 30 and with no new multi-year replacement in sight at that time, Congress approved a five-month extension. That runs out at the end of February.
Steve Hansen, a spokesman for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, says a floor vote on the new, four-month extension could come Feb. 11 or 12. No multi-year successor has cleared committee in the House.
As Senate floor debate continues on a $318-billion, six-year TEA-21 successor, Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) isn't considering an extension, says environment panel spokesman Will Hart. Inhofe's position is that "we're going to pass a six-year bill, not a four-month extension," Hart says.