House GOP to Prioritize Infrastructure in Funding Bills

Rep. Womack to Lead Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee
Road construction. Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.), the new chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, said he will prioritize the country's vital infrastructure. (smodj/Getty Images)

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The transportation funding subcommittee in the U.S. House will promote connectivity projects while focusing on taxpayers, its new leadership said this month.

Reacting to his ascension to the chairmanship of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) emphasized construction and maintenance of infrastructure systems. As Republicans govern with a slim majority, bipartisan collaboration will be among the keys for advancing fiscal 2025 transportation measures ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline.

“I will prioritize the vital infrastructure, transportation and housing needs in Arkansas’ [3rd District] and across the country while safeguarding hard-earned taxpayer dollars. As a former mayor, I know our work on this subcommittee impacts the safety, economic opportunity and quality of life of every American, a duty I take seriously,” Womack said April 11.

“I thank [Appropriations Committee] Chairman [Tom] Cole for his confidence in me to lead this influential subcommittee as we begin fiscal year [2025] appropriations. Let’s get to work,” added Womack, formerly mayor of Rogers, Ark., before Congress.

Steve Womack


House Republican leaders recently promoted Cole (R-Okla.) to the funding panel’s top post. The longtime moderate Republican most recently controlled the subcommittee’s gavel. Cole expressed confidence about Womack’s qualifications.

“As a former mayor and senior appropriator, his direct service and strong fiscal understanding bring the breadth of understanding and experience needed to guide critical development investments,” Cole said. “Regions across the nation and Arkansas are growing rapidly, and our roads, bridges, housing and transit systems must keep pace.

“He will ensure those priorities are reflected throughout the appropriations process. Steve’s leadership is an asset, and I know his work will support economic and community strength with fiscal responsibility.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the panel’s ranking member, reflected on Cole’s tenure as an appropriator. The two committee leaders are tasked with advancing fiscal 2025 measures before the fall funding deadline.

Tom Cole


“Our relationship is built on a strong foundation of mutual respect and a love of burnt bacon. In everything he does, Rep. Cole demonstrates profound integrity,” DeLauro said. “He understands why he serves in the House of Representatives and is here to make sure the institution works on behalf of the American people. I look forward to these principles guiding the Appropriations Committee as we get to work on the 2025 process.”

As early as this month, congressional appropriators are expected to review the White House’s fiscal 2025 request for transportation operations. For the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, the White House is requesting for the Federal Highway Administration $62.8 billion. Under the budget request, the Federal Transit Administration would receive $16.8 billion, the Federal Railroad Administration $3.2 billion, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration $1.2 billion and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration $964.5 million.



“FMCSA uses research, innovative technology and grants to achieve a transportation system with safer people (including vulnerable road users), safer roads, safer speeds, safer vehicles and post-crash care,” according to background information DOT provided. “FMCSA is responsible for enforcing federal motor carrier safety, hazardous materials and commercial regulations for motor carriers, commercial drivers and commercial motor vehicles operating in the United States, including those from Mexico and Canada. FMCSA’s [fiscal year] 2025 budget, in conjunction with [bipartisan infrastructure law] advance appropriations, sets the stage for investments in roadway safety, interstate commerce, CMV operations and driver safety.”

On March 11, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “President [Joe] Biden’s budget allows us to continue advancing vital work underway across the country — making travel safer on every mode of transportation, strengthening supply chains to keep costs down and modernizing our infrastructure to serve Americans for generations. Americans are already seeing the roads being repaired, new bus and bike infrastructure being built, goods moving more smoothly from ships to shelves, and more — and this budget will accelerate all of that.”

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act from 2021 also is known as the bipartisan infrastructure law.

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