Progress on Capitol Hill

News ACPA January 22, 2004
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By a 65-28 vote, the U

By a 65-28 vote, the U.S. Senate has approved the $820 billion omnibus spending package. The bill provides a final FY 2004 Department of Transportation funding level of $58.9 billion. The House has already approved the bill, so the next step will be to send the bill to the President for signature and enactment into law, a step which is expected shortly.

This legislation included a 0.59% across-the-board cut to help counteract a measure lawmakers included in the package for education, veterans care and election reforms.

The omnibus package sets a FY 2004 highway obligation ceiling at $33.73 billion. The bill also provides $3.4 billion in funding for airports.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday announced plans to mark up the surface transportation reauthorization bill in its Highways and Transit Subcommittee on Feb. 3, then mark the bill up in the full Committee the following day.

The Committee leadership agreed to combine funds used for high-priority highway and bus projects (totaling $15 billion and $5 billion, respectively, over six years), and then reserve one-third of the money ($6.7 billion) for a "rainy day fund." It's likely these dollars would be used to fund projects in the event the overall size of the bill has to be reduced due to the lack of adequate Highway Trust Fund revenues.

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