IN THE NEWS — Articles From Around the Country

Barbara Boxer: Won’t run again in 2016 — Longtime California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer will not run for reelection in 2016, she announced Thursday. Her decision means the loss of a major Democratic power player in the Senate, especially on the issue of the environment, and sets up what’s likely to be an intense race to replace her. Burgess Everett and Seung Min Kin in Politico – January 8, 2015

Dick Durbin: Time to raise gas tax As Congress stares down another looming highway cliff, an old idea is getting some new attention: Raising the gas tax. Burgess Everett and Heather Caygle in Politico – January 7, 2015

Boxer to GOP: Focus on highway bill, not Keystone – Newly-installed Republican leaders in the Senate should focus on approving a new transportation funding bill instead of pushing for passage of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Wednesday. – Keith Laing in The Hill – January 7, 2015

Can a new Congress bail out transportation in five months? – As the smoke cleared on a new political reality last week, transportation was a bit of an afterthought in the “what will the election mean for” discussion, which focused mostly on immigration, health care, trade agreements and tax reform. Roads, bridges and transit got a fleeting nod as “infrastructure,” the more elegant-sounding category to which they belong. – Ashley Halsey III in The Washington Post – November 10, 2014

House rejects Senate highway bill – The House on Thursday shot down legislation from the Senate that would have extended federal transportation funding until December. The 272-150 vote puts pressure on Senate Democrats to accept the House-passed transportation bill, which would provide funding until next spring and avert a late summer shutdown of construction projects. – Keith Laing in The Hill – July 31, 2014

Now is the Perfect Time to Raise Gas Taxes – The House on Thursday shot down legislation from the Senate that would have extended federal transportation funding until December. The 272-150 vote puts pressure on Senate Democrats to accept the House-passed transportation bill, which would provide funding until next spring and avert a late summer shutdown of construction projects. – Howard Gleckman in Forbes – November 11, 2014

Obama to Congress: Finish highway bill before recess

July 30, 2014 (The Hill) – WASHINGTON – President Obama pushed lawmakers on Wednesday to finish working on a bill to extend federal transportation funding before they leave Washington for the August recess. Lawmakers spent much of Wednesday squabbling over competing versions of a short-term extension that would prevent road and transit funding from drying up next month. Read the full story.

Senate steps closer to ‘highway cliff’

July 29, 2014 (Politico) – WASHINGTON – The Senate has passed a bill to rescue highway and transit funding that House Speaker John Boehner says he won’t accept, keeping the specter of a “highway cliff” alive with just days before Congress is set to leave for its August recess. Read the full story.

Senate Dems to take up House’s highway bill

July 22, 2014 (The Hill) – WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he plans to hold a vote on the $10.9 billion House measure extending transportation funding until the spring as early as Wednesday. Read the full story.

House Passes Highway Bill as Deadline Looms

July 15, 2014 (Associated Press) – WASHINGTON –With an August deadline looming, the House voted Tuesday to temporarily patch over a multibillion-dollar pothole in federal highway and transit programs while ducking the issue of how to put them on a sound financial footing for the long term. Read the full story.