APTA Responds to President Trump’s “Skinny Budget;” Continues to Advocate for Investment in Public Transportation
APTA’s 42nd Annual Legislative Conference concluded earlier this week, and we are grateful for the more than 550 members who came to Washington to meet with their elected officials and advocate on behalf of the industry. It could not have come at a more consequential time.
As expected, this morning President Trump released his Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) “skinny budget” recommendations, which propose cutting the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) budget by $2.4 billion. Specifically, the budget proposes phasing out the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant program after fulfilling the funding obligations for projects with existing, signed funding agreements. In addition, the budget proposes eliminating the TIGER program and subsidies for Amtrak’s long-distance routes.
The “skinny budget” is a broad outline of the new administration’s policy and funding priorities for 2018, but does not provide detail beyond the specific programs mentioned above. The Administration continues to develop its full FY 2018 budget proposal through the “passback” process with U.S. DOT. In May, the White House will release its complete budget proposal, which will include further details and proposed funding levels for other public transportation programs.
As described at the Legislative Conference, APTA is well-prepared to tackle this challenge, but success will require your help and advocacy. Although Congress will take this proposal under advisement, the House and Senate will ultimately develop their own FY 2018 budget and spending bills to be signed into law.
While we had a successful week of advocacy here in Washington, it is paramount that we redouble our efforts. The fast-approaching spring Congressional recess provides the perfect opportunity to meet with your Members of Congress back home. Request a meeting or invite them to your property or business to show them the impact that the federal public transportation programs have in your communities. Congress will be home meeting with constituents from April 8 – April 23.
APTA has created a toolkit which includes several helpful resources to assist you in these efforts. In addition, we encourage you to utilize APTA’s Industry Footprinttool to show your Member of Congress the impact that public transportation and its supply chain has in his or her congressional district or state.
APTA will continue to follow these developments closely and keep you informed as the process continues. Make your appointment today!