By Dean Franks, senior vice president of congressional relations

Congress late Friday approved a two-day extension of federal government operations to give lawmakers more time to reach final agreement on Fiscal Year 2021 spending and a COVID-19 relief package. Discussions on the latter include assistance for state departments of transportation, public transit agencies, airports, and Amtrak.

President Donald Trump signed the extension into law shortly before the midnight, Dec. 18, deadline to avoid a shutdown of most government programs.

ARTBA is in frequent contact with key House and Senate leaders, transportation and appropriations committee members, and staff to ensure relief aid for all the transportation modes remains in the final deal. ARTBA’s advocacy efforts have also focused on inclusion of supplemental capital investments through the appropriations process, as occurred in the last three spending cycles and totaled $15 billion above previously authorized funding levels.

We will continue our efforts and pass along final details of the legislative packages when they become available.