A U.S. senator's objection to federal spending on bike paths and scenic projects threatened on Wednesday to hold up action by Congress that would avert shutdowns of aviation and highway programs and a lapse of gasoline taxes.
The maneuver by Republican Tom Coburn raised the prospect of Congress failing for the second time this summer to meet its own deadline for fully funding transportation programs, which in recent years have been kept alive by short-term funding renewals.
Partisan gridlock over a different issue caused the Federal Aviation Administration's last short-term financing law to lapse in July, leading to a two-week shutdown of airport improvement projects.
Congress eventually approved the measure, but not before 4,000 FAA employees were furloughed and thousands of construction jobs idled.
Current FAA airport funding expires on Friday, while the law authorizing the U.S. government to reimburse states for road and transit construction upgrades and collect gasoline taxes -- which fund those highway programs -- expires September 30.
Read the entire article at Reuters.