House Panel Advances Fiscal 2024 Transportation Bill
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Legislation that would fund the U.S. Department of Transportation through fiscal 2024 was easily approved by a subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 12.
The transportation appropriations bill would provide $90.2 billion for programs at DOT and Housing and Urban Development.
Specific to trucking policy, the legislation would dedicate $891.3 million to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency is tasked with regulating commercial trucks and buses nationwide.
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) touted the measure’s aim to improve safety and efficiency throughout the nation's infrastructure networks. “The bill before the subcommittee responsibly funds our most critical transportation and housing needs, which will have a positive impact on every congressional district,” Cole said.
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The House bill would provide $62 billion for the Federal Highway Administration, $19.5 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration, $14.6 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, $1.4 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, and $1.2 billion for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“This bill prioritizes highway, railway, and aviation safety while maintaining housing assistance for our nation’s most vulnerable,” according to background the Republican-led panel provided.
The measure’s consideration in the House Appropriations Committee will be scheduled this month. House Democrats are expected to record their opposition to the bill at that time. Senate funding leaders signaled the potential for considering their fiscal 2024 transportation legislation before the congressional August recess. Both House and Senate leaders expressed interest in advancing fiscal 2024 appropriations this summer.
Fiscal-year funding authority for federal agencies requires renewal by Oct. 1 to avoid a partial government shutdown.
Murray (left) and Collins.
Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently highlighted their bipartisan efforts. “We are determined to continue working together in a bipartisan manner to craft serious funding bills that can be signed into law. Keeping the Senate appropriations process moving full steam ahead and in a bipartisan way is critical,” the senators said in a joint statement last month. “Our nation absolutely must be able to count on a dependable appropriations process as we grapple with urgent challenges at home and abroad.”
Before the congressional debate on budget matters, President Joe Biden issued his budget request for fiscal 2024. The president proposed nearly $1 billion for FMCSA. The White House budget proposal also would provide FHWA with $60.8 billion, FTA with $17 billion, the FRA with $4.8 billion and NHTSA with $1.3 billion.
At a House hearing earlier this year, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urged lawmakers to support Biden’s budget.
“Our transportation system is at a turning point. We are finally in the process of renewing its physical foundations, but we are also grappling with serious vulnerabilities — especially in areas where federal oversight and regulation have been undermined — which pose very real dangers to workers, families and communities,” the secretary said. “In recent years, Congress has proven that it can deliver — on a bipartisan basis — the kind of transformative infrastructure law that evaded our predecessors for decades.”
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