On Wednesday, November 9, 2011 the EPW Committee voted unanimously 18-0 to advance S.1813, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) a two-year authorization of federal highway programs at current levels, adjusted for inflation. A manager’s amendment containing amendments approved by the EPW Committee leaders was agreed to by voice vote. Several senators spoke in favor of additional amendments, though none were voted on as Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) warned senators that the bipartisan committee leadership including herself, Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) would not support any amendments that were not contained in the manager’s package.
The funding level in MAP-21 is $109 billion over two years for highway and transit funding, however the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the financing title, is continuing its work to identify an offset for the $12 billion funding shortfall between current Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenues and the proposal’s authorized levels.
It is expected that the other authorizing committees will follow EPW’s lead and schedule markups on their respective titles of the bill. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which is responsible for the transit title, may hold its markup sometime around the Thanksgiving holiday, but nothing on the schedule has formally been determined. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and transportation which had jurisdiction over rail and safety matters, may hold a markup in early December.
APTA will distribute further information about the details of the EPW proposal in the coming days.
House and Senate Conference on Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Agriculture, Commerce/Science/Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Bill
Last week, House and Senate leaders appointed conferees on first package of appropriations bills, including the FY 2012 Transportation, Housing and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The House-Senate Conference Committee is already working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the three bills in the package. Also, the current Continuing Resolution (CR) funding federal government agencies and programs expires on November 18, and Congress must act to pass another CR by that time. Independent action on the package of bills containing the Transportation Appropriations bill will complete work on the FY 2012 budget for the Department of Transportation.
For questions on these issues, please contact Brian Tynan of APTA’s Government Affairs Department at (202) 496-4897, or firstname.lastname@example.org.