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2009 Transportation Bill

Did Pelosi Just Side With Oberstar on the Transpo Bill?

That's the implication of a Roll Call story today that states: "Momentum Builds for Transportation Bill."

nancy_pelosi.jpgHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (Photo: moniquemonicat.wordpress.com)

Here's how the exchange in question played out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) weekly briefing. Pelosi was asked for her position on a possible second stimulus bill, and she replied:

I am committed to the first stimulus. I don't think it has been given all the time to work. ... The question is always open as to what the Administration may recommend to us, but right now, I believe that we have much more to gain from seeing through the first stimulus. 

I am a proponent for bringing up a full transportation bill, which is a great jobs bill.  At some point, we may have to do something on the extension of unemployment benefits. But in terms of the investments that were made in the first package, I want to play that out.

We have to be very careful about the spending on this. ... [R]ight now I think that we have big issues with health care and how we fund that, and if we do go someplace, I'd like to see us do the transportation bill.

So is Pelosi backing her transportation committee chairman, Jim Oberstar (D-MN), whose push to pass a transportation bill this year has faced opposition from the Senate and the Obama administration?

A House Democratic leadership aide told Streetsblog Capitol Hill that no decisions on a timeframe for the transportation bill have been made, but discussions are ongoing and all parties agree that a short-term problem exists.

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