House Republicans are reworking Speaker John Boehner’s energy/infrastructure package to lower the price tag, shorten the duration and eliminate a controversial provision on transit funding.
The bill has drawn criticism from transit advocates as well as fiscal conservatives, who have expressed concern that the existing $260 billion, five-year version wouldn’t cut enough from current spending and would diverge from the “user-pays” model that many on the right prefer. The White House has also threatened to veto the House proposal while expressing support for a competing $109 billion, two-year transportation bill in the Senate.
The deal to extend the payroll tax cut used some federal pension savings that had been slated to pay for the House transport bill, leaving a huge hole in the original legislation’s financing plan.
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