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Venable partner Jim Burnley was quoted in a January 21 DC Velocity article discussing whether a transport reauthorizing bill could be passed by Congress by August 2011, following comments from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Burnley, who served as transportation secretary under President Regan, said he was hopeful progress could be made this year. He said the administration and the GOP House leadership are aligned in their opposition to fuel tax increases.

"Thus, it's possible that they [would] agree eventually to support legislation sized to fit the available revenue flow," he said. Burnley added, "That would be a huge change from Oberstar's futile insistence on moving a bill that required a substantial fuel tax increase."

Burnley also said that LaHood's party affiliation is of little consequence to making inroads on a multiyear bill, adding that no one should be under any illusions that Rome won't continue to burn while Congress, the White house, and states with a huge stake in the debate continue to fiddle.

"We do have an infrastructure crisis, which federal and state governments are going to have to address sooner rather than later," he said.