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TEA still in limbo

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  • 5/30 Scripps
    Published Monday, May 30, 2005, by the Scripps Howard News Service Another detour on highway bill Congress generally assigns low numbers to bills with high or
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30 11:16 PM
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      Published Monday, May 30, 2005, by the Scripps Howard News Service

      Another detour on highway bill

      Congress generally assigns low numbers to bills with high or symbolic
      importance. So you would think HR 3, the huge, six-year highway and
      mass-transit bill, would move expeditiously to passage. But you would
      be wrong.

      The old highway act expired at the end of September 2003, but
      lawmakers, unable to agree on a new bill, have repeatedly extended the
      old law with its much lower funding levels.

      It looked like they might have a measure ready for passage when the
      House approved a $284 billion bill that the White House said was too
      expensive but still OK. But then the Senate tacked on another $11
      billion, meaning negotiations with the House would have to be
      reopened. And the White House further complicated matters by saying
      that $295 billion really was too expensive and that President Bush
      would veto it.

      This is all pretty funny unless you're a state or local government
      official who sees the prime summer construction season a-wasting.

      On Thursday, Congress extended the old bill -- for the seventh time.
      It now expires June 30. Maybe lawmakers will get around to the new
      measure when they return from Memorial Day recess June 6.
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