We get to it when we get to it

I think maybe Congress is using  one of Salvador Dali’s clocks to figure out when we might be a reauthorization bill.

Then again, I suppose progress wasn’t supposed to be predictably smooth. Take progress on a new surface transportation bill. Congress is back and this legislation is expected to take a spot close to center stage, at least with all the positive pre-winter break comments from Capitol Hill – both sides – you’d think it was.

Now Speaker Boehner has said the House will move an infrastructure-energy combo bill “in the coming weeks and months.” I know it’s not easy and can’t be planned down to the minute, but “weeks and months” is just plain vague. As in, your guess is as good as mine. As in, we’re not committed enough yet to narrow it down any more than this.

Most of the pre-break progress on a new bill came with some general, fuzzy agreements. Differences that are about to get as tricky to navigate as an Italian reef were not really addressed up close. Now the House Republicans want to tie bill funding to energy-drilling revenues and House Democrats and Senate leaders do not, or at least don’t see it as effective and so not worth pursuing.

And we still have a two-year Senate proposal that needs to borrow billions to keep funding at the SAFETEA-LU level,  a House version that falls short of that level, and a warm fuzzy feeling of bipartisanship that may or may not be warm and fuzzy enough to stand up to election-year pressures when push comes to shove in the “coming weeks and months.”

Dali. Surrealism. Still ticking.