Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., touted an upcoming vote on a transportation bill as "one of the most important issues Congress will deal with this entire year."

"There is no such thing as a Republican road or a Democrat road — this issue always transcends the political fights in Washington," Inhofe said Saturday during the weekly Republican address. "The DRIVE Act ... provides the needed long-term funding certainty so that the major construction projects can get off the ground — projects that aren't possible with short-term extensions."

Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, noted Congress has passed 33 short-term "patches" since 2009 rather than a larger spending package to support highway infrastructure.

He said the stopgap measures only allowed states to perform maintenance work and minor fixes, such as filling in potholes.

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