Tea-Publican leaders engage in game of chicken over federal highway funding

Federal highway funding is about to expire on July 31, but Tea-Publicans in Congress are engaged in a game of chicken between the House and Senate GOP leadership, which may result in a loss of highway funds as Congress leaves town for its August recess.

The Senate has a bipartisan highway bill for six years of funding that includes new revenue sources, and an extension of the Export-Import Bank charter attached to it, something that House Tea-Publicans oppose. Senate highway bill overcomes procedural hurdle. Democratic co-sponsor Sen. Barbara Boxer says Senate will send highway bill to House. But the The House GOP leadership says it will not take up the Senate bill. McCarthy: House will not vote on Senate’s highway funding bill.

Upping the ante today, the House plans to approve a three-month highway spending bill on Wednesday and then leave town. House to vote on three-month highway bill:

DonkeyHoteyWreckingBallThe House plans to approve a three-month highway spending bill on Wednesday and then leave town, forcing the Senate to approve the short-term measure to prevent a lapse in funding.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) discussed the decision with his conference at a closed door meeting on Tuesday before confirming the news to reporters.

“I want a long-term highway bill that is fully paid for,” Boehner said. “That has been the goal all year and that continues to be the goal.

“We’ve been trying to do this for four years. It’s time to get it across the finish line.”

If you are confused by the TanMan offering a three month extension and then saying that he wants a long-term bill, you are not alone. The TanMan is frequently incoherent when he blusters and postures to cover for his inability to control his Tea-Publican Caucus. He is the “Worst. Speaker. Ever.”

The two chambers have been battling over rival highway bills for a week, with the House preferring a five-month extension approved earlier this month over the Senate’s bill, which would fund roads and other infrastructure projects for six years.

The fight has cut across both parties, with Senate and House Republicans pitted against one another, and Democrats also divided in the Senate.

House Republicans prefer the short-term measure because they want to buy time for negotiations with the White House over tax reform that could be used to pay for a longer highway bill.

The new House measure, which was introduced late Monday evening, would extend highway funding until Oct. 29, 2015 — setting up a new deadline for Congress.

“It will give us enough time for our committee to do our work, get something on the board and go to conference,” Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said after he emerged from a closed door meeting with House Republicans on Tuesday morning.

Lawmakers are facing a July 31 deadline for renewing the nation’s transportation funding.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) crafted the upper chamber’s bill, which could move toward a final vote on Wednesday.

The bill includes a five-year renewal of the Export-Import Bank, which saw its charter expire last month. Winning the bank’s renewal is a priority for the White House, Democrats and business groups, but is opposed by conservatives in both chambers.

The Senate set aside a short-term highway extension on Monday in favor of its long-term fix:

The Senate on Monday evening set aside a two-month extension of federal highway funding, as lawmakers head toward a showdown with the House on its long-term bill.

Senators agreed by a voice vote to table a two-month extension, which was offered as an amendment to the Senate’s highway bill, effectively killing the proposal for now.

The Senate on Monday evening set aside a two-month extension of federal highway funding, as lawmakers head toward a showdown with the House on its long-term bill.

Senators agreed by a voice vote to table a two-month extension, which was offered as an amendment to the Senate’s highway bill, effectively killing the proposal for now.

It would appear that unless the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Mitch McConnell, blinks and takes up the House three month extension later this week, federal highway funding will run out on July 31. All because Tea-Publican conservatives are opposed to any new revenue sources to fund the highway fund, including simply raising the gas tax, and are ideologically opposed to extending the charter of the Export-Import Bank, something supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce but opposed by the “Kochtopus” network. Fierce fight looms on Ex-Im Bank as outside groups weigh in.

This is GOP governance brought to you by the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

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