U.S. Senate opens talks on Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill

July 29, 2019

The $287 billion bill is being moved out of committee this week

This story was updated 7.30.19 8:22 a.m. CST.

Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) are scheduled this week to move a bipartisan bill, titled the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), out of committee. ATIA would authorize $287 billion in state highway spending authority for Fiscal Years 2021-2025.

According to a recent release by ARTBA, which has attended multiple briefings with the EPW committee staff in Washington, the legislation includes:

  • Of the $287 billion in budget authority, 90% will be provided to the states via formula

  • A new $6 billion bridge program would be funded by a mix of Highway Trust Fund and General Fund revenues

  • New climate change and safety incentivization programs

  • Additional streamlining provisions, including the codification of “One Federal Decision,” the Trump administration executive order requiring all agencies to work together on a single decision for environmental project reviews

  • Resources to build alternative fuel fueling stations along identified corridors

The EPW committee has jurisdiction over most highway programs, and to date is the first committee in either the House or Senate to move forward on reauthorizing the 2015 FAST Act surface transportation law, which will expire Sept. 30, 2020.

There is no active reauthorization legislation in the House, which has recessed until early September. However, the last two reauthorization laws (MAP 21 and the FAST Act, respectively) began with the EPW Committee passing its portion of the work first, followed by other Senate and House committees.

A summary of the full 467 page report can be found here.

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