Tuesday, August 01, 2017

TIGER, Amtrak spared in THUD bill

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The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations approved its FY2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which prioritizes funding for many transportation projects.

The bill provides more than $19.47 billion in discretionary appropriations for the U.S. Department of Transportation for FY2018, which is $978 million above the FY2017 enacted level. The legislation also preserves funding for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, which received $550 million in the bill ($50 million above the FY2017 enacted level). As well, the bill provides $92.5 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grants program, of which $35.5 million is for initiation or restoration of passenger rail; $26 million for Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grants, and $5 million for Restoration and Enhancement grants.

The U.S. House version of the FY2018 THUD bill would eliminate the TIGER program and redirect the funds toward Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grants.

The Senate THUD bill would fund the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) with $1.97 billion; $122 million above the FY2017 enacted level. Amtrak would also be funded at $1.6 billion for the Northeast Corridor and National Network, continuing service for all current routes. The bill also provides $250.1 million for FRA safety and operations, as well as research and development activities.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is appropriated $12.12 billion, $285 below FY2017 enacted levels with transit formula grants totaling $9.733 billion, consistent with the FAST Act. The bill provides a total of $2.133 billion for Capital Investment Grants ("New Starts"), fully funding all current "Full Funding Grant Agreement" (FFGA) transit projects, which is $280 million below the FY2017 enacted level.

The bill also includes $272 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to help address safety concerns related to recent pipeline and crude oil by rail accidents.

"Our economy and the well-being of the American people benefit from responsible investments in American infrastructure and community development. This bill continues federal funding to support these objectives," said Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.).

"Our bill strikes the right balance between thoughtful investment and fiscal restraint, thereby setting the stage for future economic growth," said U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), chairman of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. "Our bill strikes the right balance between thoughtful investment and fiscal restraint, thereby setting the stage for future economic growth."

 

 

 

 

 

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