House passes FY 2004 budget resolution

News AASHTO Journal April 14, 2003
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The House passed an overall FY 2004 budget resolution early Friday morning, having agreed to six-year funding levels of $231

The House passed an overall FY 2004 budget resolution early Friday morning, having agreed to six-year funding levels of $231.6 billion for highways and $49.2 billion for transit. The resolution also contains provisions for a revenue fund, which could elevate funding should some means be found to increase the level of the Highway Trust Fund.


The resolution agreed to by House and Senate conferees splits the difference between the Senate version, which provided $255 billion for highways over six years and $56.5 billion for transit, and the House version which includes a combined highway and transit program level of $254 billion.


The budget resolution is considered a critical first step in the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century because it puts in place the blueprint for federal spending for the next five years. Congress was unable to agree on a budget resolution last year, making leaders particularly eager to produce one this year by the statutory deadline of April 15.


Transportation advocates were hoping to see agreement on the higher numbers of the Senate resolution. However, the reserve fund provision would allow the highway and transit funding levels to be increased if additional resources come to the Highway Trust Fund. That provision allows the authorizing committees some leeway in the coming reauthorization bill to consider new options to allocate additional resources to the Highway Trust Fund.


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