By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA

A partial federal government shutdown began at midnight Dec. 22 as Democrats and Republicans were unable to pass the seven remaining FY 2019 spending bills. At issue is an impasse over funding for President Trump’s proposed wall on the nation’s southern border. Private negotiations are reportedly still underway, but the Senate has adjourned until Dec. 26.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is among the programs yet to have their FY 2019 spending levels enacted into law and therefore would be subject to a shutdown. However, due to how certain programs are funded, the Federal Highway Administration would remain open, allowing construction work to continue on most federal-aid highway and bridge projects if an agreement is not reached.

Transit, railroad, and airport projects could be impacted by a shutdown, depending on the willingness or ability of local transportation agencies to use their own funds to pay contractors or other capital expenses until the federal government returns to full operations. This linked, one-page document explains in more detail how a government shutdown impacts federal transportation programs.

ARTBA will monitor the situation and post updates to this story or other important information in the Newsline section of