Monday, July 26, 2010

House to Act Soon on Transportation Spending

Later this week (probably on Wednesday July 28 or Thursday July 29), the House is expected to vote on its version of FY 2011 Transportation-HUD appropriations.

As reported in a prior "Capitol Clips," the House spending bill would increase Federal Transit Administration (FTA) spending by 5 percent over current levels. Almost every dime of the transit increases proposed in the House legislation would go to increases in the FTA formula grant programs. It would appear the House is all but disregarding the Administration's request for funding its livable communities initiative (some funds are identified in the Secretary of Transportation's office budget for this), and is also disregarding the Administration's request for a multi-billion dollar infusion of funds into a national infrastructure bank.

It's harder to tell when the Senate will act on its version of Transportation-HUD appropriations. The Senate's version of this bill was approved by its Appropriations Committee on July 22, but the timing of Senate floor action is hard to predict. Its spending bill would not increase FTA programs by any significant amount. Although the Senate does not go along with the Administration's request for transportation funding of the livable communities program, it would call upon FTA and the Federal Highway Administration to jointly allocate $200 million of their planning capacity building funds to support planning efforts that better links transportation and housing.

In case you're looking to follow these bills more closely, it's good to note the bill numbers currently assigned to House and Senate bills: HR 5850 and S 3644, respectively.

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