Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) does not believe the passage of a multiyear transportation bill is a slam dunk. Not by a long shot.
Speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9, Boehner had some doubt in his tone when talking about the six-year, $260 billion House proposal.
“It’s an awful lot harder to win votes than it used to be,” Boehner said. “Part of it is because this majority listened to the people and banned earmarks.
“We sacrificed a tool of power that’s been around for decades. It’s what we said we’d do, and it’s the right thing to do. This is not a majority full of members willing to trade their votes away for the promise of a pork-barrel project.”
The House bill will actually dedicate $52 million in annual funding for transportation, which is not far off from the Senate’s two-year proposal. However, the House is looking at expanded oil drilling to help fund part of the bill, and Boehner also tagged a measure to override President Barack Obama’s objection to the Keystone XL pipeline.