OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe is trying to persuade members of his own party to support legislation that would fund transportation projects.
The Oklahoman reports that the Republican U.S. Senator spent part of last week calling freshman House members affiliated with the tea party to convince them to back a bill that would stabilize transportation funding for several years. He says if Congress can't agree on a long-term policy, the uncertainty will cause serious problems for critical projects.
Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford is helping with negotiations on a highway bill and is one of the conservatives Inhofe is trying to win over.
He says transportation has a unique federal role, but a way must be found to pay for the essential areas of government by making cuts to non-essential programs.