Highway Bill Gets Another Look

The White House and congressional Democrats are working on a plan to jump-start passage of a stalled highway bill as the administration reworks part of its strategy for responding to high unemployment.

President Barack Obama recently shifted from calling for a national infrastructure bank that would finance transportation projects and create jobs to saying Congress should pass a bread-and-butter road-construction bill that would rely mostly on existing programs that could get projects under way faster.

One of the ideas under discussion is expanding a government-loan program designed to spur public-private partnerships, such as one planned in Los Angeles to develop a light-rail line.

With the support of the White House, Senate Democrats are lining up support from Republican colleagues, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other business groups and labor unions to pass a two-year, $109 billion bill that would maintain existing funding levels.

The plan is likely to run into opposition elsewhere in Congress, however.

More at The Wall Street Journal.

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