What the first round of FY2024 appropriations bills mean for infrastructure


On March 3rd, top lawmakers unveiled the text of six fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bills that President Joe Biden signed into law on March 8th. The agreed-upon appropriations package includes FY24 funding for Military Construction; Agriculture and Rural Development; Commerce, Justice, and Science; Energy and Water; Interior and Environment; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. 

On Wednesday the House passed the $459 billion package by a vote of 339–85, and, just hours before the shutdown deadline, the Senate passed it on Friday night by a 75-22 vote. 

While some agencies, like the Departments of Transportation and Energy will see slight increases in FY24, the majority of agencies will see flat spending or, in the case of the EPA and the National Science Foundation, slight funding cuts.

Action this week means Congress is now halfway toward completing all 12 bills that make up government funding for FY24. The remaining six bills, however, make up nearly 70 percent of the discretionary budget and will prove much more difficult to finalize an agreement before the March 22nd deadline.

Below is ASCE’s analysis of the programs included in the package approved this week.

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. 

The FY 2024 THUD funding bill provides $106.3 billion in total budgetary resources for the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill cuts $3.2 billion from the FY 2023 enacted levels across DOT and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs. It also rejects requests pertaining to some of the Biden-Harris Administration’s initiatives, including funding for the Thriving Communities Program and the effort to electrify DOT’s vehicle fleet.

Highlights of the bill include:

  • $62.9 billion in total budgetary resources for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which is $69.8 million above FY 2023 enacted levels.
  • $20 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a figure that is $1 billion higher than FY 2023 enacted levels. This figure includes $12.7 billion for air traffic control operations and hiring efforts.
  • $16.6 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which is $365 million below the FY 2023 enacted level. The bill includes $2.2 billion for Capital Investment Grants.
  • $2.9 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which is $434 million below the FY 2023 enacted levels. The bill reduces funding for Amtrak by $25 million.
  • $1.2 billion for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and $940.7 million for the Maritime Administration (MARAD), both of which are above last year’s funding levels.
  • $345 million for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program, which is less than half of the $800 million the program received last year. However, when combined with advanced appropriations from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the program will be provided $1.8 billion in FY 2024.


This bill signals that Congress is stepping back from previous increases in science and research funding and not following up with promises made in the CHIPS and Science Act.

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) will take a large reduction with lawmakers imposing a 3% cut to $9.06 billion, some $820 million below FY23. Agency officials will face some difficult decisions in determining how to manage its diminished appropriation, which is nearly $2.3 billion less than the $11.3 billion the White House had requested.

Last year, Congress significantly increased NSF’s budget and earmarked funds for the agency’s new Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) directorate, aimed at speeding discoveries to the marketplace. Lawmakers declined to replenish those funds this year and they gave NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan responsibility for deciding how to apportion the cut, noting that he need not give special treatment to TIP, which was envisioned to grow rapidly under legislation previously passed by Congress.

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) also has its budget reduced with overall funding of $1.46 billion, down about 10% from the enacted FY23 level of $1.627 billion. 

Funding for NIST measurement labs and research increased to $1.1 billion from $953 million last year; however, this includes $222.8 million in “earmarks,” or projects selected for funding by members of Congress. Additionally, the bills provide up to $10 million for NIST to establish a U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute and to implement NIST’s responsibilities under the landmark Artificial Intelligence Executive Order released last year.

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget will rise slightly in the deal to $6.4 billion, up from last year’s $6.2 billion, and significantly less than the Administration’s request of $6.8 billion. The gains were not reflected in the agency’s primary research arm, which saw its operating budget fall from $687 million to $656 million.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would receive $24.87 billion, 2% less than 2023 and 8.5% less than the $27.19 billion requested by the Administration. Within that total, the agency’s earth sciences and biological sciences programs remain flat. NASA’s planetary science program drops 15% to $2.7 billion.
  • The Department of Energy – Office of Science is allocated $8.24 billion, $540 million below the President’s request, but $140 million more than 2023. Much of that increase, or $92 million, goes to DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences program, which rises 3.6% to $2.62 billion. Advanced computing, biology and environmental research, and nuclear physics programs all see decreases, with the largest cut of 4.9%, or $52 million, to $1 billion, coming in the computing program.

Energy & Water Development  

The bill includes $58.2 billion for the Energy & Water Development Division.  While the bill does provide increases for key federal agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it reduces funds for key accounts and programs vital to strengthening the nation’s energy and water resources infrastructure.

  • S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Construction account received $1.8 billion, which is $300 million below FY 2023.
  • USACE’s Water Infrastructure Finance Program (CWIFP) received $7.2 million which is equal to the FY \23 level. These funds will allow the program to begin providing financing for non-federal dam safety projects, in accordance with IIJA.
  • The National Levee Safety Program did not receive FY24 funding in the bill, aside from $1 million to continue improvements of the National Levee Database.
  • The Department of Energy’s Electricity Account received $280 million, which is $70 million below the enacted level. These funds will support technologies that enhance grid resilience and efficiency and strengthen the capability to incorporate clean energy technologies.
  • The Bureau of Reclamation received $1.92 billion, which is $451 million above the Biden Administration’s budget request, but $31 million below the enacted level. Bureau of Reclamation funds support water conservation, restoration, and other water resources projects in western states affected by significant drought conditions.

Interior & Environment 

The bill provides $38.9 billion for the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies division, along with $2.6 billion in additional funding to combat wildfires.  It represents a $1.5 billion cut to the FY23 enacted level and does not support needed funding increases for key infrastructure programs:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received $9.16 billion, $942 million less than FY 2023.
  • EPA’s State Revolving Fund programs were funded at FY 2023 levels, with the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) receiving $1.639 billion, and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) receiving $1.126 billion. 

Out of these funding levels, Community Project Funding (Congressionally Directed Spending, or earmarks) $787.65 million was set aside for CWSRF projects, and $631.66 million was set aside for DWSRF projects, further reducing the amount of program funds allocated directly to states to support financing for water infrastructure capital improvement projects.

  • EPA Brownfields cleanup projects received $98 million, $2 million less than FY 2023.
  • EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program received $72.27 million, an increase of $3.4 million to support low-interest financing for water infrastructure projects.
  • The National Park Service received $3.325 billion, $150 million less than FY 2023.

Agriculture & Rural Development  

The bill provides $26.3 billion for the Agriculture & Rural Development division.  This is roughly equal to the FY 23 enacted level and includes the following:

  • Rural Utilities Service Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program received $596 million, supporting loans for water and wastewater programs, technical assistance, disposal, and waste management.
  • Rural Utilities Service Rural Electrification and Telecommunications Loans Program Account received $42.6 million to support loans and loan guarantees for nonprofits and energy utilities to finance construction of electric distribution facilities in rural areas, as well as generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.

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