A delegation of Illinois congressmen is calling on colleagues in Washington to pass a bipartisan transportation reauthorization bill before time runs out. Federal transportation funding is set to expire June 30. U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs) says there have been intense negotiations between the House and Senate in the last 48 hours to reach a compromise.
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“The reports so far have been good,” Lipinski said. “I have heard that real compromises are being made by both sides and I’ve also heard, the word is, that Speaker Boehner… has told his members to get this done.”
U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale) says transportation funding should not be a partisan issue. “There are no Republican roads or Democrat roads,” Biggert said. “Our investment in infrastructure should not be a partisan issue. Transportation managers in Illinois need a long-term bill to move forward on projects that will grow our economy and keep traffic moving.”
Biggert, Lipinski and U.S. Rep. Bob Dold (R-Kenilworth) are pushing for a long-term bill, but Lipinski says most likely any bill that’s passed at this time would last only 15 months. Members of the Congress have been discussing a two-year Senate transportation bill that would pump $109 billion into transportation projects across the nation.
Top congressional members plan a “working weekend” to come to a compromise.