GOP Pitches $285B, 6-Year Transportation Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are pitching a six-year transportation construction plan as a major jobs bill that can win bipartisan approval before next year's election, a key GOP lawmaker said Monday.

Even while prospects for enacting President Barack Obama's jobs plan have dimmed, Republican backing has grown for a long-term transportation bill to boost employment. Transportation and road building industries, especially the beleaguered construction industry, are also pressuring lawmakers to make a multi-year commitment of federal funds. Without that, states and private investors will have trouble financing large infrastructure projects.

The most significant obstacle to passing the bill was eliminated when GOP leaders recently agreed to keep spending on highway programs at current levels even though gas tax revenues are declining, said Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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