E&E News interviewed Manatt's June DeHart, a partner in the firm's Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy practice, for an article on a three-year, $173 billion road, rail and transit funding package recently passed by the Senate.
The bill passed with a 65-34 vote, providing proof, according to E&E News, that a longer-term alternative to stopgap transportation patches is politically possible, while urging the House to quickly come up with a bipartisan plan, as well. Despite the swiftness of the bill's passage, many obstacles still loom, such as how to pay for the bill in the long term, the need to increase the federal debt ceiling and disagreement over next year's crop of spending bills.
The outlook remains "challenging," said DeHart, who remains hopeful that lawmakers will press ahead. "I couldn't begin to give you odds [as to the probability of success]."