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Laws that would increase federal transportation funding in fiscal 2022 were approved along the party lines by a US House of Representatives panel and a vote was set up in the chamber before the August recess.
On July 16, the House of Representatives Budgets Committee, which is responsible for funding, approved a transportation funding bill that provides $ 84.1 billion in discretionary spending for the US Department of Transportation and related infrastructure programs. The committee approved the law with 33 votes to 24.
The draft measures would provide an additional $ 8.7 billion, an increase of more than 11% from the approved levels for fiscal 2021. For DOT specifically, that would mean an increase of $ 1.9 billion. House Democratic leaders said the legislation would be part of other funding bills up for discussion the week of July 26th.
The Senate finance leaders have yet to advance their funding law for the 2022 budget year. Congress is tasked with approving budget laws prior to the start of the new fiscal year on October 1 to avert certain disruptions in federal funding.
“Modernizing our country’s aging infrastructure, including our housing stock, is central to our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said David Price (DN.C.), Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, Chair of the Subcommittee on Funding Allocations. “The bill almost doubles investment in rail passenger and freight transport and consolidates our commitment to more sustainable travel while also focusing on climate resilience and climate protection.”
“Our nation’s crumbling infrastructure has held back America for far too long. With this law’s significant new investment in transportation, including mass transit and rail, more than 125,000 new housing vouchers and the modernization of public housing, we have made a long overdue investment in the future of American working-class families, “said Budget Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D Connection) added.
The bill provided the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with $ 379.5 million for its operating budget and $ 506.2 million for safety grants. While the bill was being scrutinized in committee, lawmakers passed a provision exempting commercial drivers transporting livestock, insects and certain agricultural products from the requirements for electronic logging devices.
THUD expense accounting from Transport Topics on Scribd
For other agencies, the bill proposes that the Federal Highway Administration fund $ 61.9 billion for programs linked to the Highway Trust Fund account. Proponents of the bill argued that the agency’s funding will serve to improve the safety and long-term viability of land transportation systems.
The bill would also provide $ 18.9 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration, an increase of $ 896 million from fiscal 2021 levels. The Federal Railroad Administration would receive $ 4.1 billion, an increase of $ 1.3 billion from 2021, and the Federal Transit Administration would receive $ 15.5 billion, an increase of $ 459 million -Dollars above fiscal 2021 levels. Amtrak would receive $ 2.7 billion, up $ 700 million from fiscal 2021.
For a DOT program to award grants for infrastructure projects called Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity or RAISE, the company’s finance leaders proposed $ 1.2 billion for fiscal 2022. RAISE grants were formerly known as BUILD and TIGER grants. In terms of climate change, the 2022 fiscal year transportation legislation would allocate approximately $ 250 million to emission reduction programs such as zero-emission buses.
For the most part, senior Republicans disagreed with the Democrats’ proposed funding for transportation programs and other federal operations. The GOP legislators plan to bring their opposition to the Chamber during the review of the measures.
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), senior member of the Appropriations Committee, said, “Republicans will continue to oppose controversial policies and proposed spending levels that curtail our national defenses and irresponsibly lead to huge increases in domestic spending.”
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