On Monday (March 11), President Donald J. Trump submitted his Budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. On March 18, the Administration will release additional volumes regarding the Budget request.
In its Budget request, the Administration provides $12.4 billion for public transportation programs, a cut of $998 million from the FY 2019 enacted level of $13.4 billion. The Budget request fully funds FAST Act programs authorized from the Highway Trust Fund. The overwhelming majority of the decrease in public transportation funding is attributable to cuts in the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. The Administration proposes $1.5 billion for the CIG program. Although this funding level is $1 billion less than current funding, it is greater than the Administration’s FY 2019 Budget proposal and would allow $500 million to be made available for new CIG projects.
In addition, the Administration requests $1 billion for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program, an increase of $100 million. Regarding intercity passenger rail, the Administration proposes to restructure the Amtrak system, focusing trains on shorter-distance routes. Finally, it does not appear that the President’s Budget addresses the FAST Act contract authority rescission that will occur on July 1, 2020. On July 1, the FAST Act permanently rescinds $7.569 billion of Federal-aid Highway contract authority from states’ unobligated balances of highway funds. This rescission could reset the budget baseline for the surface transportation programs beginning in FY 2021.
APTA to Testify Before the Highways and Transit Subcommittee
On Wednesday (March 13), the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled “Aligning Federal Surface Transportation Policy to Meet 21st Century Needs”. Michael Terry, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo), will represent APTA at the hearing. Other witnesses include: The Honorable Ron Nirenberg, Mayor, City of San Antonio, on behalf of the National League of Cities; Mr. Roger Millar, Secretary, Washington State Department of Transportation on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Mr. Darran Anderson, Director of Strategy and Innovation, Texas Department of Transportation, on behalf of the Texas Innovation Alliance; Mr. Jack Clark, Executive Director, Transportation Learning Center; Ms. Therese W. McMillan, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, on behalf of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations; and Mr. Al Stanley, Vice President, Stanley Construction Company, Inc., on behalf of the Associated General Contractors of America. To find more information about the hearing, please click here.
Senate Banking Committee to Vote on FTA Administrator Nomination
On Tuesday (March 12), the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will vote on the nomination of the Honorable Thelma Drake, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. in room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. After the Committee approves Ms. Drake’s nomination, the Senate will need to consider and vote on her nomination. To view the meeting, please click here.