On Friday, Congress passed a combined package of legislation which includes a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government and suspend the national debt ceiling, both through December 8, 2017. Federal government funding had been scheduled to expire at the end of September. The legislation also provides aid for Hurricane Harvey relief, including $15.25 billion for disaster recovery programs. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 80 – 17 on Thursday afternoon and was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 316 – 90 this morning. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation.
Work Continues on Minibus Appropriations Bill
Also this week, the House continued progress on H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018, which includes appropriations for the U.S. Department of Transportation for FY 2018. The bill would fully fund all Mass Transit Account programs at the $9.733 billion level authorized in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill, however, only would fund the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program at $1.753 billion, which is $549 million below the FAST Act authorized level. Additionally, the bill would zero out the TIGER Grant program. Work on this legislation is expected to continue once the House reconvenes next week. APTA sent a letter to Members of the House regarding several amendments that were considered. To view the letter in its entirety, please click here. With the passage of CR through December 8, Congress has until that time to conclude the FY 18 appropriations process.
APTA Sends Letter to President Trump
Following a productive meeting with senior White House officials during which APTA leadership emphasized the importance of federal investment in transit, APTA Acting President and CEO Dick White followed up with a letter in support of regulatory reform efforts.
Williams Appointed Deputy Administrator of Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
FTA has announced the appointment of K. Jane Williams as deputy administrator. Williams previously was director of the Washington area transit office at Maryland DOT, where she worked closely with the leadership of the Maryland Transit Administration and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). She has served at the Departments of Energy and Labor under President Reagan and the Department of Interior under President George H.W. Bush and was a senior legislative advisor to Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD).
U.S. DOT Releases TIGER Grants Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
On Thursday in the Federal Register, U.S. DOT published the NOFO for the TIGER Grants program. In it, they noted the application deadline for submissions would be 8:00 p.m. E.D.T. on October 16, 2017. For more information on the program and submission instructions, please click here. In addition, DOT announced it will host three webinars for interested applicants.
House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Rail Infrastructure
The Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials will meet on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building to receive testimony related to “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Rail Stakeholders’ Perspectives.” To watch the hearing online, please visit the Committee website here.