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U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) lead a news conference with fellow House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 4, 2013. Washington headed into the fifth day of a partial governme
House Republicans are just having a bang-up day in spending a lot of time and taxpayer money in hanging around on the House floor and making sure that no governing actually happen before they leave for five weeks for recess. While leadership was first killing and then trying to resurrect its version of a border assistance bill, they also managed to jam up the Senate—also in its last day of work before recess—on the highway trust fund transportation funding bill. They rejected the bill the Senate had already passed and then passed their own, jeopardizing funding to the program and late summer transportation projects. The fund is set to be depleted some time in August without an immediate infusion of cash.
Republicans said their $11 billion measure is now the only viable path for lawmakers to prevent a bankruptcy in infrastructure spending that has been predicted to occur in August. […]

Republicans want to extend road and transportation funding into next year and the next Congress possibly one with a Republican Senate—and are daring Democrats in the upper chamber to leave highway projects unfunded in an election year.

The legislative game of chicken is occurring with just one day to go before the Department of Transportation (DOT) has said it will be forced begin cutting back payments to state and local governments by as much as 28 percent.

The Senate had done a shorter-term funding bill in order to try to force work on a comprehensive, multi-year transportation bill in the lame duck session. For House Republicans, it's far more important to use this as another political lever against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid than to protect transportations jobs, fix broken infrastructure, or, well, do anything.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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