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CQ Roll Call: Senate Begins Transportation-Funding Bill, Big Local Projects May Suffer

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David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing

In an era when Congressional ratings are at historic lows, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are trying to challenge the perception that they can't get anything done. For instance, a bill to help start up small businesses passed the House yesterday in a 390 to 23 vote. Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor said that bipartisanship can continue, but it's unclear how far it can go, especially with a transportation-funding bill that could affect projects in our area. David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, offers some details. Following are highlights of his conversation.

Hawkings on Cantor's statement that bipartisanship agreement can apply to other bills this year: "I'm not sure I know which ones he's talking about because I sort have gone through my own list of big-ticket items, and I don't really see any that will draw bipartisanship support."

Hakwings on the status of the transportation-funding plan: "They're all mixed up on the House side of the Capitol. On the Senate side, they started work on a transportation bill yesterday, after a month of negotiating over what amendments to have.

Hawkings on what the transportation bill means for the D.C. metro area: "What that means is with only a two-year bill, projects that aren't shovel-ready, or aren't close to shovel-ready really have little chance of getting started. And the bigger projects... the $2 billion projects... stands very little chance of getting off the ground, if it's just sort of a 2-year stop gap bill, because the government doesn't want to commit to any big-ticket items that it can't finish."

Listen to the full analysis here.

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