The Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a continuing resolution (CR) to extend federal government funding through Dec. 11—including an extension of current surface transportation authorization funding levels.
Proposed extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is contained within the CR for one year, with an additional $13.6 billion added to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), according to AASHTO.
“While we had hoped to reach an agreement between the House and the Senate this year on a modern, multi-year surface transportation bill that moves our country forward, the single most important factor right now is providing certainty to states and local governments that are under the strain of both the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn,” House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio said in a statement. “With this one-year extension in place, we can continue work on a long-term, transformational bill that significantly boosts investment in our surface transportation network and moves our transportation systems into the 21st century.”
Several leading transportation construction industry associations earlier this month sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to pass a one-year extension of the FAST Act, which is set to expire on Sept. 30.
According to an analysis by the AASHTO policy team, the FAST Act extension within the CR provides obligation limitation through December 11, estimated to be $9.1 billion for the Federal-aid Highway Program; a $10.4 billion general fund transfer to the HTF’s Highway Account and a $3.2 billion transfer to the Mass Transit Account; an increase to the “multimodal cap” within the U.S. DOT’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program from $500 million to $600 million; and an extension of 2017 and 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program obligation deadlines through September 30, 2021.
The House is expected to vote on the continuing resolution this week.
SOURCE: AASHTO / House Appropriations Committee / House T&I Committee