This week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a two-year Coast Guard reauthorization bill and a bill banning smoking (including e-cigarettes) on Amtrak.
Eno Transportation Weekly
March 28, 2019 – The Senate subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies held a hearing on March 27 inviting Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao as a witness to review the FY20 budget request for USDOT.
March 22, 2019 – Just a day after the White House released their budget proposal for 2020, which would significantly cut funding for rail and transit programs, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development held a hearing on March 12 to discuss the challenges and opportunities regarding passenger rail development.
March 20, 2019 – The President’s fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security includes proposals for a small cut in Transportation Security Administration operational funding, a large cut in Coast Guard procurement, and a two-thirds cut in Federal Emergency Management Agency transportation security grants.
March 21, 2019 – Amtrak sent its fiscal 2020 budget request to Congress yesterday and asked for $141 million less than Congress actually appropriated for fiscal year 2019. The 2020 request of $1.80 billion is the amount authorized by Congress in the FAST Act of 2015, but Congressional appropriations for Amtrak and other railroad programs in 2018 and 2019 have exceeded the authorized amounts significantly.
March 11, 2019 – President Trump has released a fiscal year 2020 budget request today that calls for $84.1 billion in gross budgetary resources for the U.S. Department of Transportation today, a $3.5 billion decrease from 2019.
March 8, 2019 – This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told an Association for Better New York breakfast meeting that he wants to attach legislation forcing the federal government to start funding a $13.6 billion project to build new passenger rail tunnels under the Hudson River to the next “must-pass” spending bill. But it’s hard to see Schumer getting what he wants without either violating Congress’s ban on earmarks, or else fundamentally restructuring the mass transit Capital Investment Grant program.
February 9, 2019 – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the 116thCongress formally kicked off its work yesterday with a marathon seven-hour hearing entitled “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Investing in Our Nation’s Infrastructure Cannot Wait.”
February 8, 2019 – This week, President Trump gave an interview to local journalists where he appeared to say that money for the $11+ billion Hudson River Tunnel has already been “set aside.”
December 14, 2018 – This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued its biennial report updating a wide menu of revenue increase and spending cut options and the amount by which each of the 121 options would decrease federal deficits over the coming years.
November 29, 2018 – According to railroads’ third-quarter 2018 reports released by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), four railroads are at risk of failing to qualify for an alternative schedule to finish implementing positive train control (PTC) by the Dec. 31, 2018 deadline.
October 12, 2018 – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate finished its pre-election business with the typical flurry of activity, passing 17 bills and resolutions (mostly low-profile stuff) and confirming 35 civilian nominations before adjourning to return November 13.
October 3, 2018 – Three months from the Dec. 31 deadline, New Jersey Transit told the Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing yesterday that it is “working diligently” to catch up on installation and qualify for an alternative schedule under the positive train control (PTC) law.
September 14, 2018 – As the Dec. 31 deadline to fully implement positive train control (PTC) or else qualify for an alternative schedule approaches, railroads and regulators are already turning towards challenges that will remain after 2018.
September 5, 2018 – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved Wednesday two transportation-related nominees and a bill to streamline Department of Transportation reporting requirements.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 – House Transportation and Infrastructure – Subcommittee on Highways and Transit – subcommittee hearing on “Innovation in Surface Transportation” (witness list here) – 10:00 a.m., 2167 Rayburn.
Wednesday, August 29 – Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation – full committee business meeting to consider agenda items including the Szabat (DOT) and Dearborn (Amtrak) nominations and S. 3367, DOT reporting harmonization (full agenda here) – 10:00 a.m., SD-G50 Dirksen.
August 17, 2018 – Part of both the Trump and Shuster infrastructure plans is a new federal funding mechanism for large real estate acquisitions that could also be applied to certain federal transportation infrastructure programs.
August 1, 2018 – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved by voice vote today several items including a bill to establish a new port improvement grant program, a bill to criminalize attacks on interstate passenger rail crews, and another nominee for a seat on the Surface Transportation Board.
July 27, 2018 – On Thursday morning, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation considered presidential nominees Rick Dearborn for the Amtrak Board of Directors and Martin Oberman for the Surface Transportation Board, for two unfilled rail transportation board seats.