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American Public Transportation Association

 Congress Introduces Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill; Fully Funds FAST Act; Continues Capital Investment


Congress Introduces Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill; Fully Funds FAST Act; Continues Capital Investment Grant Program

Shortly after 2 a.m. this morning, the House of Representatives filed the FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill. This legislation will provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. It provides funding for all 11 annual Appropriations bills, including the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) bill. Both the House and Senate are expected to vote on the measure this week.

Last week, Congress passed a one-week Continuing Resolution (CR) which funded the government at FY 2016 levels through the end of this week, on May 5th, to give Members of Congress additional time to sort through remaining issues. With the full-year bill introduced on Monday, House consideration will not occur before Wednesday. Assuming it passes, it would then go to the Senate for consideration. If passed by the Senate, it would go to the President’s desk for signature into law, completing all appropriations for FY 2017.
 
  • For summaries and bill highlights courtesy of the House Appropriations Committee, please click here
  • To read the full bill text and accompanying reports, please click here
  • APTA supports this legislation and urges Congress to approve it expeditiously. To view APTA’s press release on this bill, please click here
  • A brief synopsis prepared by APTA can be found below:
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

The bill provides $12.4 billion in total budgetary resources for the FTA, $657 million above the FY 2016 enacted level and $7.5 billion below the request. Transit formula grants total $9.7 billion, consistent with the FAST Act authorization level. Within this amount, more than $2.4 billion is provided for Capital Investment Grants (“New Starts”), including $1.5 billion for all current “Full Funding Grant Agreement” (FFGA) transit projects. This represents $100 million more than authorized in the FAST Act. Importantly, the accompanying report language, which you can access here, recommends the specific New Starts, Small Starts and Core Capacity Projects that would receive funding and at what amount. Through this provision, Congress rejected the President’s proposal to phase out the CIG program.

Also included in the bill is the $199 million for Positive Train Control (PTC) authorized in the FAST Act for FY 2017. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) received $150 million authorized in PRIIA. FTA administrative expenses were funded $3 million more than authorized at $113 million. Also, technical assistance and training was funded at $5 million.

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

The Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Grant Program was funded at a level of $68 million. The Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Grant Program received $25 million. Additionally, the Restoration and Enhancement Grants was allocated $5 million.

Amtrak received a $75 million increase, to $1.495 in FY 2017. As prescribed by the FAST Act, this account is split between the Northeast Corridor (NEC), which received $328 million, and $1.167 for the national network.

Other Programs

The Transit Security Grant (TSG) Program received $88 million, $1 million higher than FY 2016 levels, and the bill funds TIGER Grants at a level of $500 million.
 
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