On Tuesday (June 4), the House Committee on Appropriations approved H.R. ____, the Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The measure was approved by a vote of 29 – 21. As noted in our previous Legislative Update, the bill continues historic transportation funding levels, providing $16.2 billion for public transportation and intercity passenger rail grants, including $13.5 billion for public transportation and $2.7 billion for passenger rail grants. In total, these funding levels are:
- $150.5 million more than FY 2019 enacted funding levels (including $60.5 million more for public transportation and $90 million more for passenger rail grants);
- $1.1 billion more than FY 2020 FAST Act authorization levels; and
- $1.9 billion more than the FY 2020 President’s Budget request.
During the markup, there was one amendment offered related to public transportation and passenger rail. Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) offered an amendment to strike a provision of the bill that prevents the Federal Railroad Administration from rescinding the $2.5 billion in funding previously expended for the California high-speed rail project, or transferring nearly $1 billion in California high-speed rail grants that were terminated several weeks ago. The amendment failed by a vote of 21 – 29.
To view the bill, please click here. To view the draft Committee report, please click here. To view an APTA table outlining the specific funding levels for public transportation and passenger rail, please click here.
House Subcommittee on Homeland Security Marks Up Homeland Security Appropriations Bill
Today (June 5), the Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the House Committee on Appropriations marked up H.R. ___, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for FY 2020. The bill, which was approved by voice vote, provides $110 million for Public Transportation Security, Railroad Security, and Over-the-Road Bus Security grants. Of this amount, $2 million is dedicated for Over-the-Road Bus Security and $10 million for Amtrak security. This appropriation ($110 million) is $10 million more than recent annual funding for these programs. To view the bill, please click here.
APTA Small Operations Members Hold Fly-In for Investment in Public Transportation
On June 4, twelve APTA members representing public transit systems in smaller communities participated in APTA’s first-ever Small Operations Member Fly-In. Members met with the offices of House and Senate Congressional leaders and authorizing, appropriations, and tax committees to discuss the unique challenges and innovations of public transit systems in small-and mid-sized communities across the nation. The members met with the following offices:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
Senate THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI)
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR)
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO)
House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David E. Price (D-NC)
House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
Congressional Bus Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)
Congressional Bus Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL)
The APTA members also met with their specific state Congressional delegations. In total, the members met with the offices of 32 Members of Congress.
APTA Coalition Letter
On May 22, APTA joined a letter to House Committee on Appropriations leaders expressing support for section 192 of H.R. ___, the THUD Appropriations bill, which prevents the Department of Transportation (DOT) from terminating the Cooperative Agreement to support California High-Speed Rail and from reallocating funds prior to the resolution of litigation regarding the project. The letter also expresses concern about the message sent to project sponsors regarding the reliability of the federal government as a partner in any large infrastructure project. To view the letter, please click here.