|Last Friday, the President signed the $1.86 trillion dollar “Omnibus Bill” into law. The Omnibus law is an appropriations package for
fiscal year 2014 that establishes discretionary spending at $1.012 trillion and
provides $98 billion for defense and disaster relief.
It also includes $53.5 billion in non-discretionary “obligation
limitation” funding for the Department of Transportation. This is $164
million below what was designated for 2013 and $4.9 billion below the
President had requested.
Here’s how transportation dollars are broken out in the bill:
Highways – Provides almost $41 billion in
obligation limitation funding for the Federal Highway program – the same
level authorized in the MAP-21 transportation authorization legislation, which
expires on September 30, 2014. This is an increase of $557 million from the
fiscal year 2013 level.
legislation provides a total of $2.1 billion (which includes funding from
prior years and $93m in bus rapid transit projects) for Capital
Investment Grants (“New Starts”), full funding for state and local “Small
Starts,” and funding for all current “Full Funding Grant Agreement” projects.
These programs provide competitive grant funding for major transit capital
investments, including rapid rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and
commuter rail, planned and operated by local communities.
Air – Included in the legislation is $12.4 billion for
the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), $168 million below the fiscal year
2013 level. This funding will support the full operations of the air
traffic control system, including the hiring and training of air traffic
controllers and safety inspectors to ensure that facilities are fully staffed
to serve the nation’s flying public. The bill preserves funding for FAA’s
Next Generation air transportation systems (NextGen) – investments that will
help ease future congestion and reduce delays for travelers in U.S. airspace.
In addition, $3.35 billion in “obligation limitation” funding is provided for
airport construction projects. The bill also rejects the Administration’s
proposals for new passenger facility fees.
Rail – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
is funded at $1.6 billion, a decrease of $34.6 million below 2013 levels. The bill expands oversight and includes policy reforms
for Amtrak to ensure the best use of tax dollars. The bill included $1.390b for Amtrak capital grants and
no funding is provided for High Speed Rail.
TIGER – Provides $600m for the discretionary