By Lauren Schapker, vice president of legislative affairs, ARTBA
The House of Representatives July 25 approved 248-149 a two-year deal on Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and 2021 spending levels.
Details on specific spending decisions will be left up to the House and Senate Appropriations committees, though broad parameters of the agreement were released. This is a departure from the 2018 two-year budget agreement, which provided broad programmatic outlines for the spending, including $20 billion designated as supplemental infrastructure investment beyond core highway, transit and airport construction programs.
Congressional appropriators must now assign new funding levels for each of the 12 annual appropriations bills and will work to enact them before the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30.
While the House passed 10 of the 12 annual appropriations bills earlier this year, including the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill, which would provide $66.15 billion in spending for highways, airports and transit programs, the Senate has yet to consider any FY 2020 annual appropriations bill.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced his committee will begin work on the 12 bills over the August recess, in hopes of avoiding stopgap spending measures that will have to be passed if bills are not signed into law by Sept. 30.
The Senate is expected to pass the bill the week of July 29. While some members of the Senate are grumbling about the deal’s spending increases, the package is expected to pass the chamber. President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the legislation.