Highway Bill 70 to 80 Percent Completed, says Mica

Rep. John Mica said the House is almost ready to vote on a long-term federal highway bill.

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that the House is almost ready to vote on a long-term federal highway bill.

Speaking with reporters at the Capitol, Mica said that the House's version of the bill, which has been sought by transportation advocates since 2009, is 70 percent to 80 percent completed.

“We told leadership that if they can give us the time we could have it to the floor in a week and a half,” he said.

The current GOP proposal measure would spend anywhere between $230 and $285 billion on roads and bridges over six years, while the Senate has begun moving a two-year, $109 billion package of bills that would spend more per year on road projects. The first portion of that chamber's highway bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), was approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works committee last week.

Mica said Tuesday that he prefers a longer term bill than the chairwoman of that panel, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), does and that is still an issue.

On sources for the funding beyond the roughly $35 billion that is brought in by the federal gas tax, Mica said he will leave it up to colleagues outside the committee to find the money for surface transportation.

"We are authorizers. We are counting on our colleagues in leadership to find the money," he said.

Read the entire article at The Hill.