- - Wednesday, February 15, 2012

CAMPAIGN

Romney ad spending blitzes GOP competitors

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and an allied independent group have launched a TV ad blitz aimed at undercutting his GOP rivals.

Together, Mr. Romney’s campaign and the independent group are spending about $2.6 million on television and radio ads.


Mr. Romney’s ads are running only in Michigan, which votes Feb. 28.

The independent group is running ads in several states, including a spot critical of Rick Santorum.

Mr. Santorum has emerged in the past week as Mr. Romney’s chief rival for the GOP nomination after sweeping contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri.

Mr. Romney grew up in Michigan and his father was governor. Mr. Santorum is making a play for the state, where his blue-collar background and pro-manufacturing message appear to be resonating. But he has spent significantly less on advertising.

HOUSE

Transportation bill lands in the ditch

A long-term blueprint for federal transportation programs was delayed Wednesday by House Speaker John A. Boehner as GOP leaders scramble to shore up support for the endangered measure.

Mr. Boehner of Ohio told Republican lawmakers at a closed-door meeting that he has delayed final action on the 4½-year, $260 billion bill until after next week’s congressional recess. Republicans had been saying they wanted to pass it this week.

Mr. Boehner cited two reasons for the delay: It will take more time than planned to work through nearly 300 amendments lawmakers want to offer, and Republicans need to find more money to pay for the bill, said spokesman Michael Steel.

But others in both parties said there are so many Republicans who object to some portion of the 1,000-page bill that it can’t pass in its present form. The bill’s treatment of mass-transit programs has riled urban lawmakers, including New York and Chicago-area Republicans. Other Republicans are concerned with provisions that would permit oil and gas drilling off the East, West and Florida Gulf coasts, as well as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

SENATE

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