Ryan Gets Right Down to Transportation

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has promised to bring a new phase to the House of Representatives, and is doing so by making his first priority a transportation bill. For many years, politicians and presidential hopefuls always make a note about the decaying infrastructure in the United States as an example of how Washington is failing its people. Well, for Speaker Ryan, he is using his new leadership role to finally address this party. And, more importantly, he wants to do it in a bipartisan manner, saying that there will be the chance for “lots of amendments from members of both parties.”

Ryan has been working in this highway bill for many months while he was Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.  The House and Senate passed a short term transportation bill that is due to expire in December. As this expiration date comes nearer, Ryan wants to make sure the House is in order to pass a significant piece of legislation. Ryan said back in July, “This plan gives us our best opportunity to produce and pass a long-term bill to rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and other infrastructure this year.”

There has not been a significant transportation bill for ten years, and the current transportation funding will expire November 20th. The problem with these bills, however, and why there is always a crisis when passing them, is a lot of times, senators or representatives will add other facets to the bill that does not exactly correlate, such as funding for Ex-Im Bank. This is the reason that the Speaker of the House has to delicately supervise the entire process in order to avoid a shutdown. So, as Ryan takes on his new role, this will be his chance to prove what his leadership will look like.