President Barack Obama defended his proposed oil fee Friday, saying it would help position the American economy for the future and help transition away from "dirty fuels.”
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid slammed the door on using pension funds to offset a long-term surface transportation bill Tuesday, saying federal employees “have been whacked enough.”
“We do know that one of his proposals takes into consideration a tremendous whack at federal employees,” Reid said. “Federal employees have been whacked enough, and that can be part of no long-term, short-term, medium-term agreement on highways or anything else.”
“There’s bipartisan enthusiasm for a multi-year highway bill,” McConnell said. "We’ve had some conversations inside our conference about a way to pay for that and I’ve also had conversations with prominent Democrats who are involved in this issue and we’re hoping to be able to come together behind some way to get a multi-year highway bill. I’m fairly optimistic that we can do that."
Reacting to an international tax-code overhaul proposed earlier Wednesday by Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Rob Portman, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is “skeptical” of using part of an overhaul to pay for a long-term highway bill while emphasizing there would not be a gas tax increase.
"The best way to deal with the tax code in my view is comprehensive, an entire scrub — that’s what [Ronald] Reagan and Tip O’Neill did on a bipartisan basis some 30 years ago,” McConnell said. “We obviously can’t do that in two weeks, and even some component, some subset of that, that might be included in a larger comprehensive bill, is pretty hard to put together to meet the time constraints that we have on the highway bill."