U.S. Senate EPW Committee unanimously passes surface transportation reauthorization bill

Legislation sets a new baseline funding level of $303.5 billion for U.S. DOT programs

June 01, 2021 / 2 minute read
Senate committee surface transportation reauthorization

UPDATED June 1, 2021:

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed a five-year, $303.5 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill on May 26, 2021 by a unanimous vote of 20-0.

Entitled the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021, the bill boosts total highway funding from fiscal year 2022 to 2026 by 34 percent over the baseline established by the one-year extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation or FAST Act passed in October 2020.

The EPW’s bill also provides $273.2 billion or 90% of its total funding via formula apportionments to states and retains all current core formula programs, including a 55% suballocation for Surface Transportation Block Grant programs.

A full accounting of this development can be found here.

 

ORIGINAL REPORT:

“I’m proud that we’ve advanced a robust, bipartisan investment in our nation’s highways, roads, and bridges,” noted Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., the EPW committee chairman, in a statement. “This legislation is an important first step in the critical work needed to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure in a way that creates jobs, combats climate change, and lifts up all Americans for a brighter future.”

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) recently announced the release of a bipartisan surface transportation reauthorization bill that will be marked up by the EPW Committee this week.

“I’m proud to join with my colleagues in crafting a bipartisan bill that invests in our nation’s transportation infrastructure at a historic high level, and in doing so, helps create jobs, curbs our carbon emissions, and expands opportunities for the American people,” EPW Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Delaware) said in a statement. “We must reauthorize the surface transportation bill before its current authorization expires in September: it is a vital foundation for President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. I look forward to continuing to work to transform our nation’s infrastructure and equip our economy for the future.”

The EPW Committee says the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 sets a new baseline funding level at a historic high of $303.5 billion for U.S. Department of Transportation programs for highways, roads, and bridges. This marks an increase of more than 34% from the last reauthorization to pass Congress—the FAST Act in 2015.

The prior authorization for surface transportation programs expired in 2020; Congress passed a one-year extension that will expire on September 30, 2021.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) released a statement applauding the committee's proposed bipartisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021.

“The proposed Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 provides much-needed program stability through its five-year funding platform at 22% above current levels," Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director, said in a statement. "The bill also provides 90% of total highway funding from the Highway Trust Fund by formula to states, continuing to utilize the proven foundation of the Federal-aid Highway Program. It also directly addresses resiliency, carbon reduction, and safety for all roadway users, while supporting urban and rural communities, improving project delivery, and providing the flexibility necessary for states to maintain and improve their roads and bridges.”

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SOURCE: Senate EPW Committee / AASHTO

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