Lawmakers on Capitol Hill last week reached spending deal to avert a government shutdown and fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2019. Included in the package (P.L. 116-6) are the following infrastructure related spending levels:
- $86.5 billion overall for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); $900 million for BUILD grants; $13.4 billion for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which includes $2.55 billion for Transit CIG program; $17.5 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which includes $3.35 billion for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) with a $500 million supplemental; and $49.3 billion for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
- $35.6 billion for the U.S. Interior Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is a $300 million increase above the FY18 enacted level. The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs would receive the same level of funding as the FY18 enacted level.
- $17 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is $5.8 billion above the President’s request. Funding includes $250 million for the National Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund as part of the recently authorized National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Mitigation Assistance, which was enacted by the Disaster Recovery Reform Act.
In Science areas, the measure includes:
- $8.075 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is $603 million above the President’s request.
- $21.5 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is $1.6 billion above the President’s request.
- $985 million for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is $356 million above the President’s request.
The Senate passed the measure by 83-16, and the House cleared it, 300-128, and President Trump signed it into law.
The enactment of these spending levels continues last year’s bipartisan budget deal between Congress and President Trump which increased spending levels for infrastructure – $10 billion for FY2018 and $10 billion for FY2019. Despite this commitment from Congress and the Administration, FY2019 spending barely reached the overall $10 billion commitment. As negations begin on FY2020 spending levels, we urge Congress and the Administration to continue the positive trend seen in the last two appropriation cycles and fund our infrastructure needs.
Providing more funding to existing programs, rather than creating new programs, will reduce overhead costs and startup time, while still allowing for significant and noticeable improvements across all sectors of U.S. infrastructure.
Infrastructure is the backbone of our nation’s economy and we ask Congress to engage in bold leadership so that we can restore America’s world-class infrastructure.