Legislation

March 22, 2018 Part 1

Washington Update

prepared by CATHY CONNOR - DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

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Last night the House and Senate Appropriations Committees released the text of the massive $1.3 trillion FY'18 omnibus spending bill. The bill includes FY'18 funding for the entire federal government - both defense and domestic programs. Now the House and Senate must each vote to pass the bill and the President must sign it before the current short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) expires at midnight tomorrow Friday, March 23 in order to avoid a government shutdown. The President has threatened to veto the bill if it includes funding for the NJ/NY Gateway project. The bill includes significant new funding for key transportation programs, particularly Amtrak, Transit Capital Improvement Grants (CIG), TIGER and FAA's Airport Improvement Program (AIP) - see chart below.


Here is a link to the entire bill -
http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180319/BILLS-115SAHR1625-RCP115-66.pdf - the entire bill is 2,232 pages long - the US DOT section is Division L, Title I beginning on page 1565


Here is a link to the Explanatory Statement regarding the US DOT funding in the bill -
http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180319/DIV%20L%20
THUD%20SOM%20FY18%20OMNI.OCR.pdf


Here is a link to a press release about the US DOT funding in the bill released by the House Appropriations Committee -
https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/03.21.18_fy18_omnibus
_-_THUD_-_summary.pdf


The fiscal year began on October 1, 2017 and the government has been operating under a series of short-term CRs, at last year's funding levels, ever since. A two-year budget deal (FY'18 and FY'19) was reached several weeks ago which significantly increased the federal budget caps for both defense ($80B extra) and domestic ($63B extra) programs and avoided potential sequestration. The budget deal included a side agreement that approximately $20B ($10B each year) of the additional domestic funding should be set aside to fund infrastructure programs, which is how key transportation programs were able to be significantly increased.


Included in the omnibus bill is another short-term extension of the FAA authorization bill through September 30, 2018. The current FAA authorization extension expires on March 31. Congress is currently working on a multi-year FAA bill, now that Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) has agreed to drop his controversial provision to privatize the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, but it is expected to take several more months to draft and pass a final bill.


As of Friday, Congress is scheduled to go out on recess for two weeks returning the week of April 9.


Below is a chart showing FY'18 funding included in the omnibus appropriations bill for US DOT programs. An Update with information about funding for other infrastructure-related programs and various policy riders attached to the omnibus will be sent out shortly.

Program FY'17 Enacted FAST Act FY'18 Authorized Administration FY'18 Request House FY'18 Bill Senate FY'18 Bill Final FY'18 Omnibus
Highway Program $43.26B $44.23B $44.23B $44.23B $44.23B $44.23B from HTF + $2.52B from GF = $47.5B Total
TIGER Grants $500M NA $0 $0 $550M $1.5B
FTA CIG Grants $2.41B $2.30B $1.23B $1.75B $2.13B $2.65B
FTA Formula Grants $9.73B $9.73B $9.73B $9.73B $9.73B $9.73B from HTF + $834M from GF = $10.5B Total
FTA WMATA $150M NA $150M $150M $150M $150M
FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) $3.35B NA $3.35B $3.35B $3.6B $3.35B from Aviation TF +$1B from GF = $4.35B
Amtrak NEC $328M $515M $235M $328M $358M $650M
Amtrak National Network $1.16B $1.08B $525M $1.10B $1.24B $1.29B
FRA CRISI Grants $68M $230M $25M $25M $92.5M $593M
FRA SOGR Grants $25M $175M $25M $500M (including funds for Gateway) $26M $250M
FRA Restoration Grants $5M $20M $0 $0 $5M $20M


In related news - FTA has published partial FY'18 apportionment tables for its formula programs for the first six months of FY'18. Discretionary grant and CIG project funding information will be posted at some point after Congress approves the full FY'18 appropriations bill which should occur later this week. The announcement makes available more than $4.5B to FTA grantees at approximately six-twelfths of the FY'17 level. The apportionments, referenced in 13 tables, can be found here -
Fiscal Year 2018 Partial Year Apportionment Tables

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March 22, 2018 Part 2

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March 9, 2018

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February 14, 2018

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February 13, 2018 Update