The House of Representatives Dec. 17 voted 297-120 on an agreement between congressional leaders and the White House to fund the government for the rest of FY 2020. The package now goes to the Senate.
The package fully funds the FAST Act’s $1.29 billion increase in highway and core transit program investment. It also provides $3.35 billion for the Airport Improvement Program, but falls $300 million short of the amount expected for the transit Capital Investment Grant program.
As was the case in FY 2018 and FY 2019, the FY 2020 agreement will boost transportation funding beyond the authorized amounts listed above. The $4.08 billion in total supplemental investment includes:
- $2.17 billion for highways;
- $400 million for airport capital projects;
- $510 million for bus and transit program grants; and
- $1 billion for BUILD (formerly known as TIGER) multi-modal discretionary grants.
States will have up to four years to spend most of this supplemental funding. The three-year total in additional highway, public transportation, airport and multi-modal capital investments is $15.34 billion. For a full breakdown of the supplemental spending included in the package and how it compares to previous years, see the chart below.
Industry Support for FY 2020 Bill
The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) President & CEO Audrey Copeland, Ph.D., P.E., released the following statement today after reviewing the FY2020 Transportation–Housing & Urban Development Appropriations Bill Conference Report (Division H of the Domestic Priorities and International Assistance Appropriations Minibus, H.R. 1865), which secures substantial federal funding for transportation investment.
“The Appropriations Minibus bill passed by the House today is welcome news for everyone who values the ability to move freely across America. By avoiding another continuing resolution and dedicating federal spending levels for roads, bridges, airfields and other projects, states will have the means to boost public safety and ease the flow of goods and people across the nation.
“We are especially pleased to see $2.2 billion in funding for highway programs above what was authorized in the FAST Act, $3.75 billion in airport improvement program grants and the dedication of $6 million to a new airfield pavement technology program. And it is all being done without any mandates that would hamper the ability of states to select the best materials for their projects.
“NAPA urges the Senate to move swiftly to approve this Minibus. With last month’s cancellation of the rescission of $7.6 billion in funding for state highway projects and the imminent completion of the FY2020 appropriations process, the cloud is lifting from next year’s construction season. States will have the certainty needed to move forward with necessary projects, and Congress can begin work on authorization of the next long-term surface transportation program.”
Much of the federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that has kept spending locked in at FY 2019 levels since Oct. 1. Once the House acts, the package heads to the Senate and then to the President’s desk, which he has signaled he will sign into law before the current CR expires Dec. 20.
It’s worth noting this is the earliest an annual transportation spending bill will be completed since FY 2015. Final enactment of this package before Congress leaves town for the holidays will help provide certainty for states for the remainder of the fiscal year. It also opens the door for Congress to tackle other bipartisan issues next year.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) also says they will continue pressing for the House and Senate to move forward with a new surface transportation authorization measure early in 2020 to ensure enactment before the current law, the FAST Act, expires Sept. 30, 2020.