The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee issued a draft of its fiscal year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies or THUD funding bill on May 22, which provides a total of $86.6 billion in funds to the U.S. Department of Transportation – $167 million above enacted FY 2019 funding and $3.7 billion more than requested in the President Trump’s budget proposal issued back in March. The legislation was easily approved by a subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 23.
The fiscal 2020 transportation funding bill would provide $1 billion for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, grants, a $100 million increase above the 2019 enacted level.
“This legislation not only provides much needed funding for roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports and aviation, it robustly funds affordable housing programs and lays the groundwork to incorporate resiliency principles into community development planning, so we can build smarter and stronger,” noted Rep. David Price, (D-NC), chairman of the THUD subcommittee, in a statement. “It allocates new resources for aviation safety, highway accident prevention, and research into emerging technologies that are transforming our transportation system.”
The House bill provides the full $46.365 billion for highways as promised by the FAST Act. However, the general fund supplement for the trust fund account is reduced from $3.25 billion in 2019 to $1.75 billion in 2020; the overall funding level for the Federal Highway Administration under the House bill falls by $404 million. Within the $1.75 billion supplement, almost $1.5 billion is set aside for formula grants to states. Airport grants were frozen at this year's spending levels. The full committee will take up the legislation after the 2019 Memorial Day recess.
Specific transportation-related funding measures within the THUD bill include:
- $1 billion for national infrastructure investments via the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development or BUILD grant program.
- $10 million to fund a new program, the Highly Automated Systems Safety Center of Excellence.
- $48.9 billion for the Federal Highway Administration, which is $404 million below FY 2019 but $1.7 billion above the president’s budget request.
- $1.75 billion for discretionary Highway Infrastructure Programs, which is $1.5 billion below FY 2019 but $1.45 billion above the president’s budget request.
- $13.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, which is $60 million above FY 2019 and $1.1 billion above the president’s budget request.