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A $1.5 trillion fiscal 2022 bill that ensures funding for the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, has been signed by President Joe Biden.
The bill, cleared by the U.S. Senate on March 10, dedicates funding for transportation agencies, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
For FMCSA’s safety operations and programs the bill approves $360 million, and the agency’s safety grants division receives $496 million. Specific to trucking, the legislation prohibits funding the enforcement of electronic logging device rules for commercial motor vehicles that transport livestock or insects.
Other Transportation Matters
• $57.4 billion for highway programs
• $774.3 million for highway traffic safety grants
• $234.3 million for a port infrastructure development program
• $182.6 million for pipeline safety operations
• $103.1 million for the DOT Office of Inspector General
Source: Fiscal 2022 funding bill
The bill includes funds for congressionally directed spending projects, or earmarks. It also approves emergency aid for the ongoing federal COVID-19 response and defense operations in Ukraine.
The bill’s sponsors touted myriad infrastructure and economic provisions tucked in the measure.
“With passage of this government funding legislation, we are delivering historic investments that will help lower the cost of living for working families, create American jobs and support our nation’s most vulnerable,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).
“After months of negotiations, I am pleased that Congress reached a bipartisan agreement for the fiscal year 2022 omnibus bill,” added Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), chairman of the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. “The transportation-housing funding section, which I oversee, unlocks the full potential of the president’s bipartisan infrastructure law to allow spending to meet the higher authorized funding levels.”
In the Senate, Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) emphasized aid for social safety net programs.
“In the wake of the pandemic, children in schools across the country are falling behind in math and reading, and children in low-income and minority communities are falling even further behind their peers,” he said. “One study found that third-graders attending school in low-income communities tested 17 points lower in math than they did in 2019. We cannot allow a global pandemic to set these children further back on the path to a bright future.”
Added Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Appropriations Committee ranking member: “This package bolsters our defense budget by $42 billion, with serious investments in modernization and readiness, and increases funding for border security. It also provides critical emergency assistance to our allies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Senior White House officials have pointed to the measure’s potential for facilitating access to new technologies, as well as addressing the impact of climate change.
“The passage of the bipartisan appropriations bill that is now headed to the president’s desk gives fresh momentum to the urgent science and technology priorities of the Biden-Harris administration,” said Dr. Alondra Nelson, performing the duties of director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “From the creation of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Health, a new agency to kindle bold research and innovation on cancer and other deadly diseases, to new funding for science at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that advances actionable information on climate change, this spending bill charts a hopeful course to the future.”
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