Senate Democrats and House Republicans are set to battle over transportation legislation that could have the same political dynamics as the payroll tax holiday, which gave Democrats a big victory.
The Senate bill, a two-year measure costing $109 billion, has strong bipartisan support. It is the product of a compromise between Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), one of the Senate’s most liberal members, and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), one of the chamber’s most outspoken conservatives.
The legislation has bogged down over controversial amendments but it is expected to pass with strong bipartisan support.
House GOP leaders, by contrast, are expected to move a transportation authorization bill that passes largely along party lines. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) initially favored a five-year $260 billion transportation bill funded largely by an expansion of domestic oil and gas drilling.