On August 1, 2018, the US Senate approved a four-bill spending package for the Fiscal Year 2019 by a vote of 92-6.
This is the second year under the two year budget agreement that raised the spending caps and committed a minimum of $20 billion in additional funding for infrastructure programs. Below is a highlight of some of the Senate bill that was approved:
- Highways – fully funds the FAST Act authorization of $45.3 billion from the Highway Trust Fund, a $1 billion increase from Fiscal Year 2018 and adds $3.3 billion more from the General Fund. $800 million is designated for rehab and/or replacement of deficient bridges in rural areas.
- Transit – fully funds the FAST Act authorization of $9.9 billion for transit formula funding from the Highway Trust Fund and adds $800 million from the General Fund. Provides $2.55 billion for Capital Investment Grants.
- Rail – maintains Amtrak funding at $1.9 billion. Provides $300 Million for Federal-State Partnership State of Good Repair grants and $255 million for rail infrastructure and safety grants.
- Aviation – preserves Airport Improvement Program from the Airport & Airways Trust fund at $3.35 billion and adds $750 million in grant funding from the General Fund. Also adds $3 billion for FAA facilities and equipment.
- BUILD – provides $1 billion for multimodal discretionary grants, which is down $500 million from Fiscal Year 2018.
- Community Development Block Grant – provides $3.3 billion, which is the same level as the Fiscal Year 2018.
Although the Senate passed this bill, the House has yet to pass its version of the bill, although on July 23, 2018, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) provided a Discussion Draft on his version of the bill, which includes a proposed fuels-tax boost of $.15 per gallon for gasoline and $.20 per gallon for diesel. The House Bill has objections from conservatives due to increased funding for housing and public transit programs and democratic objections to some controversial policy provisions in the House bill.
We will keep you updated as more is determined from the House Bill and whether the Senate may just negotiate a compromise on the package.