Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Thursday that the Senate would likely begin consideration of a highway funding bill next week, but said he is "skeptical" of a bipartisan plan to fund it with an international tax deal.

Republicans have been stuck in their effort to find funding for a multi-year plan to pay for the nation's infrastructure projects. On Wednesday, Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced a plan to let international corporations repatriate their overseas profits at a lower tax rate to generate funds that would pay for a six-year highway bill.

But McConnell all but threw cold water on the plan, which was not specifically endored by the the top tax writers in either chamber.

"In regard to the possibility of some kind of tax reform being a component of all of this, I'm skeptical," McConnell said after meeting with GOP lawmakers in a private luncheon Wednesday.

McConnell and other Republican leaders, including Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, have long advocated using corporate tax reform to lower overall tax rates, and not for one-time use such as funding infrastructure spending. Republican lawmakers consider comprehensive tax reform a top priority and want to wait for a GOP president to try to get the job done, since the GOP and Democrats are too far apart to come up with a deal while Obama is in the White House.

"The best way to deal with the tax code, in my view, is comprehensive," McConnell said. "We obviously can't do that in two weeks."

McConnell said even the small component of corprorate reform that comprises the Portman-Schumer proposal would also be impossible to complete by the end of the month. The proposal lacks key details, including how much money it would raise.

"So, it may be a good idea, but I don't think it applies to the current situation," McConnell said.

The use of tax money for highways, however, is something President Obama and Democrats have endorsed. And given a looming July 31 deadline to reauthorize highway spending, authors of the proposal believe their plan at least stands a chance, even if it can't get done this month.

Congress frequently "punts" on drafting a long-term highway funding bill and instead tends to pass short-term funding patches.

But Senate Democrats, looking to win leverage in their new role in the minority, are threatening to oppose a short-term highway deal, which they say makes it harder for states to plan critical long-term infrastructure projects.

"I just hope he understands that we will find it disgusting and very offensive if he brings forward another short-term extension bill," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday. "That would be awful for our country."

Schumer said his tax proposal could provide a pathway to passing a short-term deal because lawmakers would be assured that a longer-term funding source is in the works.

"If it looks like there is a growing consensus that this is a way to pay for a long-term, robust highway bill," Schumer said, "then many people on both sides of the aisle would have less objection to an extension if there is a real possibility of getting something done."