Back to where we were?

Have we come as far as we are going to come for a while with reauthorization? Was the recent promise of some sort of bipartisan breakthrough just that?

As House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman John Mica prepares to unveil what should be a five-year bill with a $260 billion tag (and the Senate has a two year bill with a $490 billion tag ready) Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says it’s unlikely there will be a bill this year.

For most of last year it appeared we’d be looking for a bill after the 2012 election. Then the two intransigent sides found ways to be practical and progress happened. Now if we say after the election, we need to ask, how long after.

It is fair to ask, and I’ve asked this before, do we have to learn to live with extensions rather than assume they are temporary enough to wait them out. If transportation infrastrutcure is the most-workable bipartisan project in Congress, and it is, and we can’t make it work, look out.