Senate appropriations approves $55.65 billion bill for transportation and housing

Updated Jun 25, 2015

highway-contractorUntitled-1The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development has approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, which will now be turned over to the full committee for consideration on June 25.

The bill includes a $1.88 billion increase compared to FY2015, but is $7 billion below President Obama’s budget request. It is slightly more than the $55.3 billion bill, HR. 2577, passed by the House earlier this month.

Highlights of the bill affecting transportation construction include:

U.S. Department of Transportation: $17.78 billion in FY2016 discretionary appropriations ($17 million below the FY2015 enacted level, $3.9 billion the President’s requested level), prioritized for programs impacting safety, efficiency and reliability.

Highway Trust Fund: $40.26 billion, representing no change from FY2015, but contingent on new transportation legislation. It allows $2.4 billion in “unused earmarks” to be used for other transportation projects.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants: $500 million, representing no change from FY2015.

“Through negotiation and compromise, this bipartisan bill makes smart investments in our nation’s infrastructure, helps meet the housing needs of the most vulnerable among us, and provides funding for economic development projects in our communities,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), subcommittee chairman. “From rental assistance for low-income families to safety-related provisions for our transportation infrastructure, the many critical programs funded by this bill were balanced to fund the wide range of operations that play a crucial role in reinvigorating our economy.”