The Republican House leadership decided on Monday not to hold a vote on a bipartisan Senate transportation bill that would have funded highway construction for the next six years. GOP House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) told reporters:
We’re not taking up the Senate bill.
The long-term Senate bill was a bipartisan compromise put together by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), that would have provided long-term funding for the nation’s ailing transportation infrastructure. Hard-line conservatives oppose the Senate bill because it includes renewing the charter for the controversial Export-Import Bank.
Controversy over the Ex-Im Bank has caused considerable tension between conservative Republicans and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate. McConnell supported the compromise highway bill which provided for re-authorizing the Ex-Im Bank, while 26 GOP Senators opposed renewing the bank’s charter.
The controversy has exacerbated Senate tensions between staunch conservatives and McConnell. On Friday, Ted Cruz called McConnell a liar, alleging that the Senate Majority Leader had stabbed him in the back, after assuring the Texas Senator that no deal had been reached to re-authorize the Ex-Im Bank.
The House Republican leadership has apparently decided to cast their lot with the Cruz wing of the party, rather than with McConnell. The House is expected to recess this Thursday without voting on the long term highway funding bill. Instead, they have approved a short-term five month highway funding bill that does not include re-authorizing the Ex-Im Bank.
However, the House measure needs to be taken up by the Senate. It seems unlikely that Mitch McConnell would give his right-wing antagonists a victory by allowing the Senate to approve the short term measure.
With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, one would think legislation between the House and Senate could be reconciled easily. However, the Republican Party has devolved into squabbling factions, making it difficult to pass even the most basic forms of legislation, like extending funding for the nation’s highways. Get used to it. The Republican Party is virtually incapable of governing.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.
Jason Smith (R-MO) looked like a fool after presenting two key pieces of "evidence" of…
The Biden-Harris administration announced on Wednesday three new regulations to strengthen protections for children in…
Transactions involving Donald Trump and Jared Kushner set off money laundering alerts at Deutsche Bank.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a message to Kevin McCarthy that he is all…