6-15-2012 Federal Transportation Briefing
Surface Transportation Reauthorization
Despite some recent activity (including trading offers and counteroffers, and voting on “motions to instruct”), as of June 15, the transportation reauthorization talks between Senate and House leadership and conferees remain essentially stalemated. Senator Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Congressman Mica, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, each stated this week that they believe that their offers are being met with an unwilling to compromise. Meanwhile, Congressman Boehner, Speaker of the House, again stressed that he would support a six-month extension of SAFETEA-LU if no agreement is reached on a new bill by the time the current extension expires on June 30, 2012.
Annual Transportation Appropriations
On June 7, the House Appropriations subcommittee approved by voice vote its FY 2013 T-HUD proposal. Contingent on action by Congress to provide funding authorization, obligation limitation amounts stay level with FY 2012 for the following: FHWA federal-aid highways ($39.144 billion); FAA’s Airport Improvement Program ($3.35 billion); and FTA’s Formula and Bus Grants ($8.36 billion). The bill zeros out the TIGER program, which was funded in FY 2012 at $500 million. However, the House would carve out $500 million from the Amtrak capital account for bridges and tunnels mostly on Amtrak routes in the northeast corridor. No funds for High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) would be provided by the House.
The full committee is scheduled to mark up the draft next week, with floor action expected soon after.
On April 18, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2013 T-HUD bill, S 2322. Like the House proposal, S 2322 would retain FY 2012 levels for most accounts. However, the Senate would renew the TIGER program at $500 million, and provide 100 million for HSIPR.
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