House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) offered limited praise for the sweeping transportation bill that President Obama signed Friday and pledged to continue pushing for authorization of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, which was omitted from the legislation.
He lauded provisions in the House-Senate compromise that pare back environmental reviews for some projects – an element of the bill that has dismayed green activists – as well as the inclusion of the deal on student loan rates and other elements.
“While not perfect, this bipartisan agreement has important reforms to ensure taxpayer dollars go toward high-priority infrastructure projects, not bike paths and beautification. It cuts red tape, gives states more flexibility, and – consistent with the House ban – has no earmarks whatsoever. And with half of recent college graduates jobless or underemployed, the bill also stops student loan rates from doubling,” said Boehner, who did not attend Friday’s bill-signing at the White House.