On Monday night, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies released the draft Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.
The bill fully funds Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act programs that are funded through the Highway Trust Fund. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) formula programs are funded at $9.733 billion. However, we are concerned that the legislation sets total funding for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program at $1.753 billion, which is $549 million below the level authorized in the FAST Act. Of the total provided for the CIG program, the bill sets specific funding levels for new starts, small starts, and core capacity, and it also sets aside $400 million for a joint public transportation and intercity passenger rail project that is intended to fund the Gateway project. Importantly, the measure includes language directing the U.S. Department of Transportation to include a new starts report with the President’s FY 2019 budget that includes project allocations for FY 2019 and it directs the Secretary to administer the CIG program in accordance with current law, both of which were sought by APTA and its members. The measure provides no funding for the TIGER grant program. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority receives $150 million, consistent with FY 2017 enacted levels.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is funded at a level of $2.2 billion, which is $360 million over the FY 2017 enacted level, and $1.1 billion above the Administration request. Of this, $328 million is provided for the Northeast Corridor, and $1.1 billion for the national network. The bill also provides $500 million, $325 million more than authorized, for Federal State Partnerships for State of Good Repair Grants, which is also intended for the Gateway project.
The bill will be marked up in subcommittee tonight at 7 p.m. To view the markup proceedings, please click here. The full committee markup will likely be held next week. APTA sent the following letter to the members of the subcommittee in anticipation of the markup, which can be found here.
FTA Releases Full FY 2017 Apportionments
Last week, the FTA released the full FY 2017 apportionments for the remainder of the fiscal year. This funding is made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, which provides $12,055,841,748 in contract authority for FTA formula and general fund programs. To view the full apportionment tables, please click here.
President Trump to Nominate Ronald L. Batory to Lead the FRA
President Trump has announced his intent to nominate Ronald L. Batory as Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. From a White House press release, “Mr. Batory has more than 45 years of diverse leadership in the railroad industry. In his last capacity with Consolidated Rail Corporation, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that affiliation, he was President of the Belt Railway Company of Chicago. Mr. Batory earned his B.A. from Adrian College and his M.A. from Eastern Michigan University. Mr. Batory and his wife, Barbara, reside in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.”
Secretary Elaine L. Chao Scheduled to Testify on Administration Budget Request
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation Elaine L. Chao will testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation-HUD on Thursday, July 13 at 2 p.m. The hearing will take place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 192. If you wish to view this hearing online, please click here. The Senate is expected to release and markup its own FY THUD appropriations bill in the coming weeks.