April 12, 2019 – This week, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution giving the House Appropriations Committee a spending total for fiscal year 2020, allowing that panel to start marking up the twelve annual appropriations bills when the House comes back from recess the week of April 29.
Eno Transportation Weekly
April 12, 2019 – An April 10 hearing before the the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee discussed waterborne transportation and appeared designed to make the case for legislation unlocking $9.3 billion in past collections for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund – legislation that seems very likely to be included in the forthcoming infrastructure initiative from House Democrats.
April 12, 2019 – The Federal Transit Administration on April 9 announced the allocation of $1.36 billion in appropriations for projects under the Capital Investment Grant program.
April 12, 2019 – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao made her annual trip to the House Appropriations Committee this week to defend the Trump Administration’s fiscal 2020 budget request for USDOT.
April 11, 2019 – Congress has chosen to let mass transit spending get significantly farther ahead of its dedicated revenue stream than highways has gotten ahead of its revenue stream, comparatively speaking.
April 11, 2019 – Yesterday, the Treasury Department announced that the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund has failed its forward-looking solvency test for fiscal year 2020. As a result, unless Congress passes new legislation fixing the problem, apportionments of FY 2020 mass transit formula funding to transit agencies will be reduced by around 12 percent from the levels provided by the FAST Act.
April 9, 2019 – In 1946, President Truman came very close to creating a Federal Transportation Agency to unite federal road, aviation, and maritime activity under one roof.
April 5, 2019 – A provision taking future Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund taxes and spending effectively “off-budget” has been delayed as the larger disaster relief appropriations bill in which it appears has been bogged down in a partisan dispute over funding for Puerto Rico.
April 5, 2019 – This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used the so-called “nuclear option” to change Senate procedures to cut the amount of time that the minority party can delay a vote on any executive branch nominee below the rank of Cabinet Secretary (or its equivalent) from 30 hours down to just 2 hours.
April 5, 2019 – Texas tried to revive the old “donor state vs. donee state” highway funding debate last week. A March 26 letter to Congressional leaders from the Texas delegation complained that “Texas only receives 95 cents back for every dollar it sent to Washington in federal fuel taxes” and asked for a “fair, equitable and logical approach” to highway funding distribution formulas in the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.
April 5, 2019 – The House and Senate Budget Committees have now approved vastly different spending plans for fiscal year 2020. While the House plan is headed for a vote by the full chamber next week, the Senate blueprint may have gone as far as it will ever go.
Tuesday, April 9 – House Homeland Security – Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security – subcommittee hearing on the FY 2020 TSA and Coast Guard budget requests – 10:00 a.m., 310 Cannon.
April 3, 2019 – Part 1 of a look at pre-1960s proposals to create a U.S. Department of Transportation. This part covers the 20-year debate over whether the construction of public works to be used for transportation should be grouped with the promotion and regulation of such transportation.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” — The Bible “All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.” — Battlestar Galactica The skyrocketing deficits of the mid-1980s led Congress to enact the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law in 1985, which […]
March 22, 2019 – Senate Budget Committee chairman Mike Enzi today introduced a 2020 budget plan that assumes that Congress will enact somewhere around $85-90 billion in new highway user taxes over five years to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent at baseline funding levels.
March 21, 2019 – President Trump on March 19 made the long-awaited announcement that he will nominate Stephen Dickson, a longtime pilot and executive with Delta Air Lines, to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
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.
Tuesday, March 26 – House Transportation and Infrastructure – Subcommittee on Aviation – subcommittee hearing on investment in airports (witness list here) – 10:00 a.m., HVC-210, Capitol Visitors Center. Tuesday, March 26 – House Appropriations – Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing – subcommittee hearing on budget requests from House members – 11:00 a.m., 2358-A Rayburn.
March 20, 2019 – What a difference a year makes. In 2019, the Trump Administration requested zero new funding for discretionary grant programs. In 2020, they are requesting $4 billion.