House GOP wants transportation bill by yearend

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U.S. House Republicans are proposing to pass a five-year transportation authorization bill by Dec. 31 that would be paid for in part by expanding domestic energy production through offshore oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The plan, introduced by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), seeks reforms and cuts in infrastructure programs. It also eliminates “transportation enhancements” that states now finance from federal highway money.

Democrats – who have proposed a two-year $54 billion plan for the Highway Trust Fund – oppose Arctic drilling, pointing out that royalties from drilling there would amount to only $1-$2 billion over 10 years.