Appropriators Back $56.5 Billion Transportation-Housing Spending Bill

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By Shaun Courtney

House appropriators approved 31-20 a spending bill for $17.8 billion for transportation programs and $38.3 billion for housing programs in fiscal year 2018 during a full committee markup July 17.

The committee killed an amendment by Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), the ranking member of the transportation-housing subcommittee, that would have added more than $200 billion in infrastructure spending to the $56.5 billion bill. An amendment to save popular TIGER grants also failed on a party-line vote.

Modernizing Air Traffic

The bill would add $1 billion to the NextGen program to modernize air traffic control within the Federal Aviation Administration.

Appropriators continue to resist Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster’s (R-Pa.) air traffic control spinoff proposal.

“The increased funding for NextGen activities reflects the strong bipartisan consensus within appropriations committee that we must continue providing the resources necessary to strengthen and modernize the air traffic control system,” Price said.

TIGER

TIGER grants, an Obama-era competitive grant program, remained zeroed-out in the approved bill. The program had funded projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia since its inception in 2009.

An amendment to reinstate the $500 million in TIGER funding from the 2017 enacted budget failed on a party-line vote.

TIGER grants will be get a second change when the Senate puts together its transportation-housing bill before August.

Senate Appropriations transportation-housing subcommittee Chairman Susan Collins (R-Maine) told Bloomberg BNA the grants would be funded in the Senate Appropriations transportation bill.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shaun Courtney in Washington at scourtney@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at phendrie@bna.com

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