Democrats accuse Republicans of intentionally stalling on passing a new highway bill

Pelosi, Boxer grow increasingly uneasy; House Speaker Boehner suggests six-month extension might be best option

Funding News The Hill, Barbara Boxer June 08, 2012
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Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just wants 15 minutes from the Republican Party. The House Minority Leader is getting increasingly anxious about passing a long-term highway bill to help improve the economy leading into the election, and went as far as accusing the GOP of stalling.


“It would take us 15 minutes to pass the transportation bill,” Pelosi said on June 7. “Don’t run out the clock on the economy. This is irresponsible, it’s immature and it’s unfair to America’s workers.”


House Republicans deny any intentional wrongdoing, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) called Pelosi’s accusation “ridiculous and patently false.”


The slow economy is not showing any signs of backing down heading into election campaign season. The private sector added just 82,000 new workers in May, and combined with 13,000 layoffs the economy created only 69,000 jobs for the month.

In an effort to reach out to the Republican Party, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) personally delivered a revised version of the Senate’s transpo bill to the House on June 5. It was hoped that the gesture would stir some activity.


If the conference committee members in both the House and Senate fail to make headway on a new transportation bill, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would like a six-month extension to be considered, which did not sit well with the Senate Democrats.


“I am very disappointed that Speaker Boehner is even talking about a long-term transportation extension, which would lead to the Highway Trust Fund going bankrupt, when all of our efforts must be focused on passing a transportation bill by the June 30 deadline,” Boxer said in a statement.

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