Posts Tagged ‘Senate Appropriations Committee’

Senate Committee OKs $2B for Amtrak in FY2020

September 26, 2019

Amtrak would receive $2 billion under a federal fiscal year 2020 transportation funding bill recently adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

That would be a $58 million increase over FY 2019 funding. The bill, which provides $86.6 billion in transportation related funding, was approved on a 31-0 vote.

Amtrak’s appropriation would include $1.32 billion for the national network and $638 million for the Northeast Corridor.

The latter includes $100 million for Amfleet I equipment replacement and $255 million for Consolidated Rail Improvement and Safety Investment grants: $255 million

The passenger carrier would also allocated $300 million for state of good repair grants and $2 million for restoration and enhancement grants.

Committee Reportedly Agrees on Transportation Funding

September 14, 2019

News reports indicate that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing has agreed on spending $74.3 billion for transportation and housing in federal fiscal year 2020.

The committee is expected to approve appropriation levels for transportation spending that march well with what the House has approved for spending.

“I’ve worked very closely with our ranking member, our staffs have worked very closely, and I expect at least at the subcommittee level, that everything will go smoothly,” said subcommittee Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine). “You never know what’s going to come out of the full committee.”

She was referring to a mark-up session expected to be held soon at which specific funding levels and policy riders will be revealed.

However, observers expect the committee will seek to avoid controversy.

Congress is also said to be seeking a temporarily fix to avert $1.2 billion in cuts to the mass transit fund triggered by declining fuel tax revenue.

There are just two weeks left before FY2020 begins and Congress is widely expected to approve a continuing resolution to continue funding the federal government through late November.

Lawmakers have said in their public comments that they expect the continuing resolution to be clean, meaning that no riders will be tacked on to create political fights.

Legislators in both parties are suggesting that there is little risk of a government shutdown.

Senate Likely to be Late on Approving Budget

July 17, 2019

The Senate is not expected to approve federal transportation funding by the start of fiscal year 2020 meaning that funding will likely continue through a continuing resolution.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has acknowledged it likely will miss the Sept. 30 deadline to pass a FY2020 budget.

The House has already approved its own transportation spending plan for FY2020, which means that if the Senate adopts its own budget bill the differences will need to be reconciled in a conference committee.

Funding for Amtrak and public transit will go through a Senate subcommittee on appropriations headed by Senator Susan Collins of Maine who the Rail Passengers Association has described as a traditional strong supporter of Amtrak.

The Senate committee has yet to hold hearings on transportation funding.

RPA noted that the first of a series of surface transportation authorizations hearings centered on partisan differences over such things as climate change and how to shore up the sagging highway trust fund, but senators did seem to agree that there is a need to move reauthorization along to avoid short-term extensions.

Other authorizations that are facing Congress include those for intercity rail, public transit and revenue.

However, there are wide partisan divides on a number of issues and it remains to be seen if those can be bridged by Sept. 30, 2020, when current authorizations will expire.