Fed transpo bill gets another extension, maybe

We posted last Friday about a town hall meeting at Metro with Sen. Barbara Boxer and U.S. Transportation Ray LaHood. They came to Los Angeles, in part, to hear what locals wanted in the next federal transportation spending bill.

President George W. Bush signed the last federal transportation bill into law in 2005. A new bill was due for passage last year; instead the White House backed extending the old one. Not everyone in Congress was pleased. Here’s a letter from Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minnesota), who has championed a new bill that greatly expands spending on mass transit.

Work on a new bill has begun in Congress. In the meantime, extensions seem in store for the 2005 bill. Here’s the latest from the daily email that Metro CEO Art Leahy sends to staff:

U.S. House of Representatives Adopts Short-Term Extension of Surface Transportation Bill

This evening, the House adopted legislation, by voice vote, to extend jobless benefits. The legislation (H.R. 4691) also included a number of other provisions, including language to extend our nation’s surface transportation program for another month. Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate adopted a longer-term extension of the surface transportation program in order to ensure the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund through December 31, 2010. House and Senate leaders have not yet decided how to reconcile the manner in which their respective bills deal with the surface transportation program.