After a 15-hour markup, on early Wednesday morning, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I Committee) approved its title of the budget reconciliation bill, the Build Back Better Act, by a party-line vote of 37-29.
Yesterday, the chief tax-writing committee of the House, the Committee on Ways and Means, also completed several days of markups and approved its titles of the Build Back Better Act by a vote of 24-19. The Ways and Means Committee titles include several important infrastructure financing and green energy provisions that APTA has strongly advocated for inclusion in the bill.
As early as next week, the House Committee on the Budget will compile the titles of all of the House committees in one budget reconciliation bill, the Build Back Better Act. The House could bring this bill to the Floor in the coming weeks.
APTA strongly encourages you to reach out to your Members of Congress and the White House and urge them to support the public transportation investments and infrastructure finance and green energy provisions of the Build Back Better Act. We recommend that you focus your efforts on Democratic Members of Congress and the White House because they are much more likely to support the budget reconciliation bill.
CALL TO ACTION
Please contact your Members of Congress and the White House and strongly urge them to support the Public Transportation Investments and Infrastructure Finance and Green Energy Provisions of the Build Back Better Act.
To contact your Members of Congress, please call 202.224.3121.
To contact the White House, please call 202.456.1111.
Public Transportation Investments
The T&I Committee title provides:
- $10 billion for a new, innovative program providing competitive grants for public transit access to affordable housing and to enhance mobility for low-income riders and residents of disadvantaged communities;
- $10 billion for the planning and development of public high-speed rail projects;
- $150 million to finance the credit risk premium of Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans and loan guarantees; and
- Additional investments in local transportation priorities, climate incentive grants, and neighborhood access, and equity grants.
Please click here to view APTA’s September 10 Legislative Alert for more specific information on the T&I Committee title of the bill.
During consideration of the Build Back Better Act, the T&I Committee rejected an amendment offered by Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN) to strike the $10 billion of transit access to affordable housing in the bill. The amendment failed by voice vote.
The T&I Committee also considered and rejected several passenger rail amendments. It rejected an amendment offered by Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) to strike the provision for $10 billion of high-speed rail grants, by a party-line vote of 29-37. The Committee also rejected an amendment offered by Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) that restricted the ability of the Secretary of Transportation to provide funds for a high-speed rail project that uses rolling stock or equipment that does not comply with Federal Railroad Administration tier III safety standards, by a bipartisan vote of 18-48. Last, the Committee rejected an amendment offered by Representative Perry that prohibited RRIF funds from being used for any non-Federal share of project costs, by a bipartisan vote of 18-48.
Infrastructure Finance and Green Energy Provisions
APTA strongly supports each of the infrastructure finance and green energy provisions outlined below.
Subtitle F authorizes new “qualified infrastructure bonds” that are based on Build America Bonds, originally enacted in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5). State and local governments receive a credit of 35 percent of the interest for qualified infrastructure bonds issued in 2022 through 2024. The credit gradually steps down before settling at 28 percent for bonds issued in 2027 and thereafter.
The subtitle also restores a key feature of municipal bond financing that allows a one-time advance refunding of municipal bonds to refinance existing debt. In 2017, Congress enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), which eliminated the ability of states and municipalities to issue tax-exempt advance refunding bonds.
Subtitle G provides a manufacturer’s tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of electroc pr hydrogen fuel-cell transit buses. This credit for “qualified commercial electric vehicles” is authorized from 2022 to 2031.
Subtitle G also extends the $0.50 per gasoline gallon equivalent excise tax credits for alternative fuels through 2031. Transit agencies that fuel their vehicles with compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG) natural gas benefit from this tax credit. The alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit is also extended through 2031, and the cap for this credit is substantially increased.
Please click here to view the Ways and Means Committee’s Subtitle F (Infrastructure Finance) and Subtitle G (Green Energy) of the Build Back Better Act. Please click here to view the Committee’s section-by-section of the titles.