over the delay of a new transportation bill erupted during a Senate
hearing Sept. 23, unveiling the passions behind the reasons for
the delay, The Kansas City Star reported.
six-year bill, which was intended to boost the nation's highway
and transportation programs, was supposed to pass by Sept. 30, when
the current six-year funding expires.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee met to approve a five-month
extension to the current law. The extension would keep federal dollars
flowing to states while negotiations continue on a new bill.
the absence of a six-year bill will prevent many states from planning
beyond the next five months.
the hearing, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada said the bill
had stalled because of weak and unfocused Republican leadership
at the White House and in Congress.
called the delay "unfortunate and irresponsible."
James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who chairs the committee,
responded that "we were doing very well until you walked away
from negotiations with Sen. Bond."
walked away because of ridiculous proposals made concerning the
environment and no money," Reid hotly replied.
the six-year bill, which is expected to be more than $300 billion,
has been a major stumbling block in both the House and the Senate,
where Republican leaders don't want to raise taxes.