Sen. Reid 'Optimistic' About Highway Bill Success

Senate majority leader doesn't expect funding transportation infrastructure investment will be insurmountable but didn't address House/Senate disagreement over Keystone Pipeline

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Tuesday that he was "cautiously optimistic" about congressional negotiations over a new federal surface transportation bill.

Reid relayed to reporters that the chairwoman of the 47-member conference committee working to reach a deal on highway and transit spending, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), told him Tuesday that 80 percent of issues between the House and Senate on the measure had been resolved.

He predicted that funding for a long-term Highway Bill would not "hold things up," but failed to mention one of the biggest areas of disagreement between his chamber and the Republican-led House: the inclusion of a provision mandating the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

(More on the Highway Bill conference committee progress . . . )