Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill
The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill provides $51.6 billion in discretionary budget authority for fiscal year 2013, a 7% decrease from 2012 levels and 3.5% below the President’s request. The legislation includes funding for the Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies. The spending level in the bill does not exceed the 302(b) allocation for this bill adopted by the Appropriations Committee, which are in aggregate within the overall spending level approved by the House in the Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 112).
The measure provides funding for transportation agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration, and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Additionally, it provides funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Key elements include the following:
Federal Aviation Administration. The bill included $12.6 billion for the FAA, a 0.5% increase over 2012 enacted levels and 0.8% below the President’s request. Included are provisions for operations and staffing to reduce congestion and delays for passengers in U.S. airspace. The bill also rejects new aviation fees proposed by the President.
Federal Railroad Administration. More than $2 billion is provided to the Federal Railroad Administration by this legislation. This represents a 23.5% increase over 2012 levels but is 26.2% below the President’s request. The majority of these funds are provided to Amtrak to be used for capital improvements to the nation’s rail lines. Included are grants to build and maintain rail bridges and tunnels in local communities and policy reforms to reduce unnecessary costs and prohibit federal funding for routes where Amtrak offers a discount of more than 50% from peak fares.
Federal Transit Administration. The bill provides $2 billion to the FTA, an 8.3% decrease from 2012 enacted levels and 21.4% below the President’s request. This includes $1.8 billion for Capital Investment Grants for transit projects. Additionally the bill allows for $8.4 billion in state and local transit grant funding provided through the Highway Trust Fund, the same as last year’s level. The funding level provided is dependent upon the reauthorization of the current transportation bill and could be adjusted should a new, multi-year authorization be enacted.
Community Planning and Development. The bill contains $7 billion in funding for Community Planning and Development Programs. This represents an increase of 4.5% from 2012 and is 5% above the President’s request. The bill provides targeted funding increases to programs such as homeless assistance grants and the HOME investment partnership program which provides formula grants to States and localities to fund activities which build, buy, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent of ownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people.