Transportation Democrats to Republican Leaders: Don’t Shortchange Surface Transportation Funding in the Continuing Resolution
November 28, 2016
The Honorable Harold Rogers The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
Chairman Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations Committee on Appropriations
The Honorable Mario Diaz-Balart The Honorable David E. Price
Chairman Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Transportation, Subcommittee on Transportation,
HUD, and Related Agencies HUD, and Related Agencies
Dear Chairmen Rogers and Diaz-Balart and Ranking Members Lowey and Price:
We understand that the House Republican Leadership, with the support of President-elect Donald Trump, has decided to move forward with a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the Federal Government through March 31, 2017.
We write to urge you to ensure that the funding levels for highway, highway safety, and public transit investments in any CR reflect the increased funding levels provided by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (P.L. 114-94) and guaranteed by the Highway Trust Fund.
In December 2015, Congress came together on a bipartisan basis to enact the FAST Act to increase badly needed investment in our Nation’s transportation infrastructure. The FAST Act, which was fully paid for, increases highway, highway safety, and public transit investments from the Highway Trust Fund by almost $2.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2017. The CR should provide the increased FAST Act levels to help grow our economy and create family-wage jobs.
We urge the Committee on Appropriations to ensure that any CR reflect the FAST Act increases and not simply continue funding at FY 2016 levels. These increases include $1.85 billion for highways, $432 million for public transit, and $85 million for highway safety. Moreover, the increased public transit investment includes $199 million from the Highway Trust Fund for grants to help public transit agencies and commuter railroads install positive train control (PTC) systems, which will significantly improve transportation safety. These infrastructure investment increases are guaranteed by the Highway Trust Fund and fully paid for under the FAST Act. Failure to provide FAST Act funding levels under the CR will unnecessarily withhold $2.4 billion from States, local governments, and public transit agencies and prevent them from making timely surface transportation investments, letting contracts, and creating good-paying jobs.
The time to provide FAST Act funding levels is now, not at the end of March 2017, when the spring construction season will already be underway across the country.
Thank you for your consideration.
PETER DeFAZIO ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON
Ranking Member Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Highways & Transit
Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines,
and Hazardous Materials