WASHINGTON - U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) is having difficulty making progress "in the face of broad opposition within his own conference" regarding highway funding legislation, reports Roll Call.
Boehner has sought to tie together an energy and transportation bill, but so far has lacked the support he was hoping for. According to a GOP, the Keystone XL pipeline could help link the two issues, as it is "ripe for action given the Obama administration€™s actions," notes the news source.
"American families and small businesses are struggling with high gas prices, and President Obama€™s policies are only making things worse. In fact, gas prices have doubled on the president€™s watch," the GOP aide told Roll Call.
"This bill will pave the way for a House-Senate conference to discuss both reforming how taxpayer dollars are spent on federal infrastructure programs, and also meaningful solutions that would address high gas prices and create jobs by permanently removing government barriers to American energy production," the aide continued.
Including Keystone in a short-term bill could be dicey. Roll Call notes that Boehner "hopes to include some energy provisions in a final transportation conference, because the rules require one chamber to include a provision in its version of a bill if it is to be considered in order during conference proceedings."
The Senate, meanwhile, has already passed its version of a two-year extension bill and likely won€™t accept being "held hostage" to the Keystone issue, Roll Call notes.