If there was ever any doubt whether Majority Leader Harry Reid would allow the Senate to vote on legislation that could take away money from Nevada, he laid it to rest today.
Reid, on a call with reporters, decried lack of progress on a $109 billion highway bill, blaming Republicans for holding up the process through what he characterized as political shenanigans and general disorganization.
Earlier this week, Reid indicated he was not going to allow a vote on an amendment by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., that looks to strip out millions of dollars in Nevada funding as a disputed "earmark."
Reid was asked again today what he intended to do about the Johanns amendment. The reporter pointed out that this one, unlike other Republican amendments, would be technically germane and relevant to the highway bill.
"I don't think I plan on doing much about it so that should answer your question," Reid said.
The Nevadan has expressed frustration over proposed Republican amendments that are not relevant to the highway bill, for instance proposals to approve the controversial Keystone pipeline and repeal GOP-disputed EPA regulations.
Today he moved to break the impasse by filing cloture on the bill, accepting 37 amendments that have bipartisan support, and setting up test votes for next week.
Current federal highway law expires at the end of the month.
"In Nevada, if we don't have this new round of spending for highways, for bridges and other things including mass transit. it will be a real downer to an economy that is already having real difficulty," Reid said.