FUNDING: FAST Act funding boost on hold

Dec. 8, 2016

House leaders unveil another continuing resolution to continue fiscal 2016 spending levels through the spring

An infrastructure funding boost that was approved and paid for by Congress last year is once again on hold because of a short-term spending bill.

Under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act passed in December 2015, investments in Highway Trust Fund transportation projects were supposed to increase by $2.4 billion starting in fiscal 2017.

But House leaders unveiled another continuing resolution (CR) on Tuesday evening that would continue fiscal 2016 spending levels through the end of April.

Supporters of the funding boost say states that were banking on the increase will now approve fewer projects, while businesses and workers will miss out on new contracts and jobs for the next few months.

Top Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee had pleaded with appropriators to ensure that the CR reflects the increased investment for highway, highway safety and public transit that were provided in last year’s surface transportation bill.

President-elect Trump has long talked about the need to repair the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges. The real-estate mogul has promised to submit a massive infrastructure package within his first 100 days in office, raising the hopes for a major transportation bill next year.

But the leading Transportation Democrats argued that the country’s ailing infrastructure should not have to wait until spring, when the spring construction season will already be underway.

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