Senate Considers Transportation, Housing Appropriations Bill

Measure Would Improve Highway Infrastructure, Airport Operations, Rail and Transit Service, Ports and Community Development Needs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today moved to consider the FY2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill, which makes resources available for the nation’s infrastructure, transportation safety and federal housing programs.

The measure, reported on a bipartisan 20-10 basis by the Senate Appropriations Committee in June, is the second to overcome Democratic filibusters of all FY2016 funding bills. Senators will now begin to consider a substitute amendment to HR.2577 that adjusts funding to comply with the two-year Balanced Budget Act of 2015 (PL.114-74).

“An interconnected global economy and new trading partners around the world have increased infrastructure demand on our ports, airports, highways and railroads,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). “I commend Senator Collins for working on both sides of the aisle to make thoughtful, responsible choices on how to wisely invest taxpayer money to meet infrastructure and community development needs. I am pleased the full Senate will have the opportunity to debate, amend and pass this very good bill.”

“Through negotiation and compromise, this bipartisan bill makes smart investments in our nation’s infrastructure, helps meet the housing needs of the most vulnerable among us, and provides funding for economic development projects in our communities,” said Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine). “As chairman of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, I am pleased that this bipartisan appropriations bill will be considered by the full Senate under regular order and that we will have the opportunity to debate the legislation in an open and transparent way.”

The substitute amendment recommends a total of $57.27 billion in discretionary funding, a $1.624 billion increase over the committee-reported bill. This amount is $3.498 billion above the FY2015 funding level.

Within transportation accounts, the substitute measure adds $100 million for the National Infrastructure Investments program, $311 million for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants program, and $255 million for the Federal Aviation Administration facilities and equipment account to support the NextGen initiative and maintain critical aviation programs. It also provides an additional $24 million, consistent with authorized levels, for the Maritime Security Program.

The substitute amendment also provides an additional $100 million for the HUD Community Development Block Grant and $834 million for the HOME Investment Partnership program in order to continue support for affordable housing and rental assistance for low-income families and individuals.

This year marks the first time since 2009 that all 12 Senate Appropriations bills have been reported out of committee. The THUD appropriations bill is the second stand-alone appropriations bill to be considered before the Senate this year.


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