Last week, transportation stakeholders sent a letter to the House and Senate surface transportation conference committee in support of a robust five year highway and transit bill that would increase investment levels. The House-passed bill includes a $40 billion offset which could help increase investment levels if the duration of the bill were reduced from six years to five. A budget analysis conducted by the Eno Center for Transportation estimates that if the money is evenly distributed between highway and transit programs, that a five year bill with a seven percent funding increase in fiscal year 2016 and a three percent annual funding increase thereafter would be the result.
On Monday, ASCE along with a larger coalition sent a letter to conferees in support of increase funding for the federal TIFIA program. The TIFIA program provides federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects of national and regional significance. The Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Innovative Program Delivery notes that for every dollar in federal investment through TIFIA, the program can deliver ten dollars in credit assistance which can be leveraged into thirty dollars in overall transportation infrastructure investment.
The House and Senate have named most of their conferees, with the remaining House members likely to be named by the time the first public conference committee meeting takes place this week. Monday, the House unveiled a two week extension of the current law until December 4 to allow the conference committee time to complete their work. Until the conference committee produces a final bill, ASCE remains engaged in a targeted advocacy push to educate member of the committee on ASCE’s key positions. Please continue to check this blog regularly for issue updates over the coming days.
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