House GOP seeks to pass transportation bill by Dec. 31

U.S. House Republicans are proposing to pass a five-year transportation authorization bill by Dec. 31 that would be paid for in part by expanding domestic energy production through offshore oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, oil shale and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The plan, introduced by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), seeks reforms and cuts in infrastructure programs. It also eliminates “transportation enhancements” that states now finance from federal highway money.

Democrats oppose Arctic drilling. They point out that royalties from drilling there would amount to only $1 billion to $2 billion throughout 10 years.

Senate Democrats have proposed a two-year, $54 billion plan for the Highway Trust Fund.