We’ve been operating on an extended transportation bill for a while now, while Congress discusses what a new highway bill will look like. Considering the economy, and the mood in Washington, it’s expected to be a lot different from the most recent bill, SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users).
For instance, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) says the only way to sell a highway bill to his Republican colleagues would be to pare it back and cut waste. Inhofe says anything that not related to transportation needs to be cut. Pet projects like Capitol dome repairs and recreational bike paths make up about 3 percent of the current bill — an unacceptable number, according to Inhofe, considering that it draws from the Highway Trust Fund.