House Appropriations Committee Passes Transportation FY 2015 Funding Measure

AASHTO Journal, 23 May 2014

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved its fiscal year 2015 budget for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, a proposal that includes $71 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation. That level is $1.1 billion below the FY 2014 enacted level and $19.5 billion less than President Obama’s FY 2015 transportation request (see related AASHTO Journal story here). The measure was passed through committee by a 28-21 vote.

The bill provides $40.3 billion for the Federal-aid Highway Program (provided Congress passes a bill reauthorizing the surface transportation programs and ensures the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund), equal to the FY 2014 level. The measure also includes $15.7 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration ($7.3 million less than the FY 2014 enacted level), which provides funding for FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation Systems and Contract Towers. In this measure, $1.4 billion goes to the Federal Railroad Administration, a cut of $193 million from the FY 2014 enacted level, and $10.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration ($253 million under the FY 2014 enacted level). Transit formula grants would be funded at the FY 2014 level of $8.6 billion, while New Starts funding would be reduced by $252 million to $1.7 billion in FY 2015. The bill provides $824 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (up $5 million from FY 2014 levels) and $572 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The bill would cut Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants from the enacted FY 2014 level of $500 million to $100 million and also stipulates that the grants be used for roadway, bridge, port, and rail/intermodal improvements only.

Amendments were offered to do away with the bill’s restrictions on the TIGER grants (to allow transit and alternative transportation projects) and another to increase TIGER funding. Another amendment sought to add funds for Amtrak, while a funding increase for FTA’s New Starts Program was also proposed. None of those amendments passed.

The bill for THUD FY 2015 appropriations passed through committee is available here.


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