The House Appropriations Committee marked up the Transportation and Housing & Urban Development appropriations bill, which passed by voice vote. The bill’s overall total of $51.6 billion in discretionary spending would be $3.9 billion less than fiscal 2012 and $1.9 billion less than the president’s request, however due to the current economic climate the cuts are not too bad. Overall, the House was kind to transportation programs, maintaining investment for highways and making minor increases for the FAA and Amtrak. One of the bigger cuts in the House bill is the zeroing out of the discretionary TIGER program, which provides grants for infrastructure projects that have national or regional significance.
The full spending breakdown can be seen here:
- Highways – Provides $39.1 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent, the same level as last year and $2.7 billion below the President’s request.
- Air – The FAA would receive $12.6 billion, $91 million above last year’s level. The bill also provides nearly $1 billion for NextGen and rejects the Administration’s proposal for new aviation fees.
- Rail – The Federal Railroad Administration is funded with $2 billion, which is $384 million above last year’s level and $716 million below the President’s request. This funding includes $1.8 billion for Amtrak, to be primarily used for capital improvements.
- Transit – The Federal Transit Administration would receive $2 billion, which is $181 million below last year’s level and $546 million below the President’s request. The bill would also provide $1.8 billion for the “New Starts” program.
- Maritime – The bill includes $338 million for the Maritime Administration, a decline of $12 million from last year and $7 million below the President’s request.
- Safety – The bill includes $776 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a decrease of $23.8 million from last year; $551 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a decrease of $2.6 million from last year; and $177 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration, an increase of $4 million from last year.
The bill will likely be considered on the House floor next week, but knowing Congress things could change!