ROADS/BRIDGES: A strong GOP push in November could ignite plans for long-term highway bill

Oct. 7, 2014

House Speaker Boehner wants to work with President Obama on “common ground” items

If the Republicans have a successful November, a long-term highway bill might not be far behind.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been planting the seeds for a “common ground” effort with President Obama if his party can gain control of the Senate and win more seats in the House on Nov. 4.

One area where Boehner could work with Obama deals with the tax code, and a complete overhaul could lead the way to a multiyear highway-funding package. Obama and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) have proposed paying for road and transit programs by tapping an expected windfall of corporate tax receipts that could come from using tax breaks to entice companies to bring home some of their overseas profits. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is expected to take over as House Ways and Means chair in 2015, also said the idea of using tax reform to give life to a dying Highway Trust Fund has a lot of merit.

Boehner also said he wanted his final two years with Obama to be more productive than the last six.

“I didn’t come to Washington to make noise,” he said. “I went there to do something on behalf of my country. And I think the president ran for office to do something on behalf of the country. And it’s up to us to see where the common ground is.”

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