ROAD TO CONFLICT

White House vs. House on Transportation

Bucking White House requests to hold off for 18 months on a new transportation bill, House Democrats and Republicans released a joint plan to spend $500 billion over the next six years on a variety of infrastructure projects, including eco-friendly mass transit and high-speed rail expansions. "Our transportation system, once the envy of the world, is losing its battle against time, growth, weather, and wear," the senior members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said in a statement on Thursday. Lawmakers are considering paying for the plan with a boost to the 18.3 cents per gallon gas tax, but the Obama administration opposes the measure, saying that it would be counterproductive during a recession.