The Senate voted Wednesday to advance a longterm highway funding bill, initiating a debate on a measure that is also likely to include a provision to extend the Export-Import Bank.
Senators voted 62-36 to begin debate on a $47 billion measure authorizing surface infrastructure projects for six years. The vote came a day after lawmakers rejected the same measure, mostly at the hands of Democrats, who said they needed additional time to review the 1,000-plus page proposal.
Lawmakers agreed to begin debate despite objections from dozens of mostly Democratic lawmakers who do not agree with how the huge bill would be funded. Funding in the current bill covers just three of the six years in total.
The House, meanwhile, has no plans to take up the Senate measure. Instead, they want the upper chamber to consider a short-term bill House lawmakers passed earlier this month. House Republicans have different ideas about funding highway projects, including using revenue from international tax reform.
RELATED: GOP leader says House won't take up Senate highway funding bill
The Senate debate on the highway bill will proceed nonetheless, and will continue into next week. If the Senate can't finish the bill, that will put pressure on senators to accept the short-term extension from the House, especially given the House GOP leadership's opposition to the Senate bill.
Along the way, however, senators will consider a provision to revive authorization for the Export-Import bank, which expired last month.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agreed to allow the Ex-Im amendment in a deal with Democrats on an earlier trade measure. But many House Republicans are staunchly opposed to reviving the bank and its inclusion in the Senate highway measure, making it even more unlikely the House will consider the Senate bill before it adjourns at the end of next week.