Long-term transportation-funding bill unlikely amid House leadership impasse

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The U.S. House is expected to unveil a multi-year highway-funding reauthorization bill next week, despite uncertainty as to who will be the next Speaker of the House.

Capitol Hill lobbyists said the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider a surface transportation bill as early as next week, but that the proposal is expected to lack funding details because the House Ways and Means Committee hasn’t come up with the needed revenue to refill the Highway Trust Fund.

The current highway-program extension is set to expire Oct. 29, so another continuation would be needed to ensure the Federal Highway Administration can fund projects past that date.

Additionally, resolving the leadership battle within the House Republican Caucus is going to occupy lawmakers’ time and energy for several weeks, thus delaying floor consideration for a long-term bill, political insiders said.

Creating even more uncertainty is the possibility that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) might pursue the House speakership, generating upheaval on the panel tasked with identifying revenue for the surface-transportation legislation.

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