By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA
House Democrats Jan. 17 released the details of the final FY 2019 Transportation Appropriations bill that House and Senate negotiators agreed to in 2018. The House plans to vote on a package of six of the seven remaining spending bills, including the transportation legislation, as early as Jan. 21.
The transportation piece of the package includes full funding at FAST Act levels for the highway and transit programs, at $45.3 billion and $12.5 billion, respectively. The two-year budget agreement reached between President Donald Trump and the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate in March 2018 calls for a minimum of $10 billion per year in supplemental infrastructure investment. The highway, transit and aviation construction programs received a total of $5.3 billion of that $10 billion in supplemental general funds in FY 2018.
The bill the House will consider includes an additional $5.4 billion for FY 2019. The proposed legislation gives highway programs $3.25 billion, transit programs $700 million, airport improvement projects $500 million, and the BUILD/TIGER multi-modal discretionary grant program $900 million.
Here’s a breakdown of the FY 2018 and proposed FY 2019 core transportation infrastructure program funding levels.
House Democrats the last two weeks have sent the Senate various forms of legislation to reopen parts of the government closed since Dec. 22. President Trump has said he will veto any bill that does not include money for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has repeatedly said he will not take up a bill for a vote in the Senate that Trump won’t sign. Whether McConnell will act on this latest bill, if it is passed by the House, is unclear.
ARTBA staff will keep members informed of the developments.