Uncertainty remains, as the House of Representatives punts on annual funding measure for federal-aid transportation programs.
As of November 9, the House of Representatives still has not passed legislation funding fiscal year (FY) 2024 programs at the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). AGC previously reported on this legislation that would also block U.S. DOT from moving forward with a greenhouse gas rule that would divert highway funds to non-construction activities, like the procurement of more buses. Cuts to rail programs in the northeast are part of what is holding up passage.
Meanwhile, the Senate overwhelmingly passed its legislation funding U.S. DOT programs on November 1. As AGC previously reported, this legislation includes higher transportation construction funding levels than the House version. While there was an effort by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) to block U.S. DOT from moving forward with the same U.S. DOT greenhouse gas rule, it was ultimately withdrawn because the amendment did not have the 60 votes necessary to pass it. As a reminder, both House and Senate bills fully fund formula highway funds provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
So what’s next? Funding for U.S. DOT expires after November 17, as it does for all federal agencies and programs, unless Congress passes an extension of FY 2023 funding levels—called a continuing resolution. AGC contractors can refer to the association’s document entitled “What to Know in the Event the Federal Government Shuts Down” that explains the impacts of a potential shutdown on transportation and other construction programs.
AGC continues to press for the House to pass its funding bill and begin conference negotiations with the Senate to avert a U.S. DOT shutdown, and, more broadly, to reach agreement on funding the federal government as a whole.
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