Posts Tagged ‘Senate Appropriations Committee’

Senate Bill Would Increase Amtrak Funding

August 1, 2022

A Senate committee last week released a proposed federal fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill for transportation spending, including Amtrak funding.

The passenger carrier would receive $2.6 billion, a $269 million increase over the current fiscal year.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is proposing $2.51 billion for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants program; $200 million for the Federal-State Partnership for State-of-Good-Repair for the replacement, rehabilitation, and repair of intercity passenger rail infrastructure; and $535 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement program.

The Senate proposal provides higher Amtrak funding levels than a recently approved House budget bill but would grant $355 million less than what the House approved for the federal-state partnership program.

Whereas the House approved $882 million for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the Senate bill contains $1,135,000. The House approved $1,463,000 for Amtrak’s network whereas the Senate bill would appropriate $,465,000.

Neither the House budget bill nor the Senate proposal contains any funding for passenger rail restoration and enhancement grants. Both chambers also omitted funding for railroad grade crossing elimination projects.

Both programs received no funding in FY2022 although the grade crossing program was authorized to receive up to $500 million and the restoration and enhancement program was authorized to receive $50 million.

In FY2022, Congress approved $875 million for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and $1,457,000 for the national network.

None of the spending bill amounts include money approved in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is allocated separately from annual appropriations.

In a related development, the proposed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 introduced in the Senate omits funding for high-speed rail programs.

Earlier drafts of the bill contained $10 billion in dedicated funding for electrified high-speed rail.

The Rail Passengers Association noted in a report on its website that much of the focus in the energy bill is funding the transition to electric automobiles, which RPA described as “another in a long line of subsidies for highways.”

Senate Bill Boosts Amtrak, Public Transit FY2022 Funding

October 21, 2021

Amtrak and public transit would receive funding boosts for fiscal year 2022 under a draft budget proposal released this week by the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Funding for the national intercity passenger carrier would be $2.7 billion, an increase of $700,000 over the enacted FY2021 figure of $2 billion.

This includes $1,731,307, 307 for Amtrak’s national network and $968,692,693 for the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak received in FY2021 $700,000,000 for the NEC and $1,300,000,000 for the national network.

Including various grant programs and capital spending total passenger rail funding would be $3,444,860,000 compared with the FY2021 enacted amount of $2,581,720,000.

Public transit funding was set at $13,462,346,462 compared with the FY2021 enacted $12,959,120462.

The funding is contained in Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

House Committee Gives Amtrak Extra Funding

July 18, 2020

The House Appropriations Committee has voted to give Amtrak $10 billion in federal fiscal year 2021 with a mandate that long-distance service continue to operate daily.

By a 30-22 vote the committee approved the $18.9 billion Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill, which includes transportation funding for federal fiscal year 2021.

The THUD bill was one of 24 that the committee marked up during the past 10 days and sent to the House floor.

The bill allocates $3 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, of which more than two-thirds of which will go to Amtrak.

That includes $2 billion for the passenger carrier through the standard budgeting process. Another $3 billion was allocated for the National Network and $5 billion for the Northeast Corridor as part of an economic stimulus title.

The stimulus title contains $75 billion to help the U.S. economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that $21 billion will go for rail and transit operations.

“The emergency funding in this bill is pivotal to kick start a strong and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic collapse,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey.

The committee approved on a voice vote an amendment requiring the use of masks by passenger and employees on airlines, Amtrak, and in large transit agencies, as well as enhanced sanitation measures.

Congressional watchers expect the transportation and other appropriations bills to be passed by the full House but their fate in the Senate is uncertain.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby is resisting demands of Democrats on the committee to be allowed to offer amendments on COVID-19 emergency aid and police reforms.

Shelby said that would violate a previous agreement on how bi-partisan bills are to be considered.

Some believe Congress will wind up passing a series of continuing resolutions to keep federal spending at its current levels into the next fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1.

It remains to be seen if Congress will adopt spending bills for FY2021 in the lame duck session following the November election or leave that business for the next Congress that will be seated in January 2021.

The $2.05 billion in the bill for standard Amtrak funding is $50 million above the enacted appropriation for the passenger carrier in FY2020 and $1.1 billion above the Trump administration’s budget request.

The bill allocates $18.9 billion for the Federal Transit Administration.