Congress appoints negotiators for highway bill conference

Both parties of Congress have appointed negotiators who will iron out the differences between the different versions of the new highway bill.

The biggest difference between the House's Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act and the Senate's Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act is the length and extent of funding. The House bill currently offers a six-year plan that's only paid for through the first three years.

In all, the House will send 27 representatives to the negotiation conference, along with 13 senators, including Dick Durbin (D-IL).

The group is expected to work to reach an agreement quickly as the current highway bill expires Friday and overall government funding expires Dec. 1. If a new bill is not passed by then, the bill will likely bide time through an expected temporary extension that would fund the government until Dec. 4.

The final agreement will decide funding for transportation, infrastructure and transit improvements that leaders from both sides agree are necessary.

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