AASHTO Journal, 17 January 2014
This week, both the House and Senate passed a $1.86 trillion fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill, the House on Wednesday by a vote of 359-67 and the Senate on Thursday with a vote of 72-26. The measure funds the government through Sept. 30, 2014 and eliminates the need for additional short-term continuing resolutions (which had been funding the government since Oct. 1, 2013). President Obama is expected to sign the measure.
The measure, H.R. 3547 honors transportation funding levels outlined in the current surface transportation bill, MAP-21, at just under $41 billion for the Federal Highway program (an increase of $557 million from FY 2013). The Federal Railroad Administration is funded at $1.6 billion, a decrease of $34.6 million from FY 2013 enacted levels. The Federal Transit Administration will receive $8.6 billion in state and local transit grant funding from the Mass Transit Account (of the Highway Trust Fund), which is consistent with MAP-21 levels. In addition, a little more than $2 billion is included in the bill for transit Capital Investments (such as the New Starts and Small Starts programs). Funding for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will see an increase of $8.9 million from the FY 2013 levels to a total of $819 million. The bill also includes $600 million for USDOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.
“This legislation is one of our highest priorities as Members of Congress and it is critical to our ongoing economic stability and the safety and well-being of the American people,” said House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) in a statement. “It is a good bill and the bipartisan product of careful negotiations between the House and Senate. It provides every facet of the federal government with adequate, responsible funding, while continuing to reduce federal spending—totaling $165 billion in cuts since fiscal year 2010.”
“This agreement shows the American people that we can compromise, and that we can govern. It puts an end to shutdown, slowdown, and slamdown politics,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) upon reaching a deal with the House on Monday.
A summary of transportation provisions in the budget, released by the House Appropriations Committee, is available here.