Congress appears to be on track to reach an agreement by late Wednesday over the long-delayed surface transportation bill that will extend highway funding through September 2014.
The down-to-the-wire compromise, which will maintain highway funding at current levels, will reportedly leave out language approving the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and easing of coal ash regulation. The Senate could vote on the final bill as soon as Thursday, and the House will likely take up the bill Friday, according to The Hill.
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., heralded the bill as a "jobs bill," adding that provisions "cutting red tape, truly making projects ‘shovel ready,’ shrinking the size of the federal bureaucracy" will help attract private investment.
Less than a week ago prospects of the passage were dim, as political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle heated up and House Republicans signaled an unwillingness to budge on the Keystone measure. Their tactics reportedly helped force Democrats to agree to their push for the streamlining of highway projects.