Congress Focuses In On Infrastructure & Transportation
Category: Public Policy
On October 1st, the surface transportation and Highway Trust Fund spending authority lapsed for the first time. That same day, the House passed a one-month extension which was cleared by the Senate on October 2nd and signed into law. This extended the current programs and funding levels under the FAST Act for 30 more days with the exception of a few programs that had slight increases included in the 30-day surface transportation extension, H.R. 5434.
U.S. DOT employees that were furloughed as a result of the authorization lapse were able to return to work and be paid retroactively for their one day of furlough. States normally receive information and apportionment notices on the first day of the fiscal year letting them know how much funding they will have to spend but this was delayed because of the lapse in authority. New money that is allocated at the start of a new fiscal year was also delayed because of the lapse, but this is not as big of an impact because states get funded through reimbursement for past work and USDOT indicated there is adequate funding for reimbursements at this time.
Speaker Pelosi, the White House and moderate Democratic Senators want to get to a comfortable place on the Build Back Better reconciliation bill before the infrastructure legislation gets passed in the House. Speaker Pelosi has targeted October 31st for a vote, which seems feasible considering they have identified a range of top-line spending for the reconciliation bill -- $1.9 - $2.3 trillion. Based off the negotiations over the last month, it is unlikely that the infrastructure legislation, which includes the five-year surface transportation authorization, gets a vote in the House until progressive House Democrats are fully confident that a reconciliation bill will pass both chambers of Congress. It could definitely slip past October 31 for both measures to pass Congress.
Stay tuned for continued updates from ACT. In the meantime, we encourage you to contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the infrastructure bill.
The Greater Madison MPO in Madison, Wisconsin, recently rebranded its TDM program to “RoundTrip,” pairing a fresh look with a new website and digital emergency ride home vouchers to increase awareness and participation.