There’s a big transportation meeting on Capitol Hill this week. Nearly four-dozen lawmakers from the House and Senate will sit down together to hash out a multi-year transportation bill.
Passing a multi-year transportation bill has been a multi-year political struggle for Congress. When the House passed another extension to the old bill, it triggered a conference committee. Now 14 senators and 33 House members will try to accomplish what their colleagues as a whole failed to do.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California is confident lawmakers will rally around her bill, which passed the Senate. "Because this is so critical," she says, "because everybody says they care about private sector jobs, this is the bill. This is the only jobs bill that we can pass this year in my opinion."
Not all 47 lawmakers will participate in the entire debate. Congressman Henry Waxman of Los Angeles, the only other Californian, will weigh in on the Keystone Pipeline provision in his role as top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The latest transportation bill extension expires at the end of June.