Coming up on two years since the current federal transportation funding bill expired, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) said a proposal on the next six years of funding will be released after the July 4 holiday.
The America Public Transportation Association reported the announcement following an industry group meeting. Mica added that a formal introduction of the proposal is expected to occur the week of July 11 with a committee markup by the week of July 25.
Mica shared some components of the proposal, including an approximate funding level of $230 billion over six years for the Highway Trust Fund. Earlier this year, the House passed a budget resolution developed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) that requires cuts in transportation programs of over 30 percent compared to current levels. The bill will also authorize funding to be appropriated from the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury for specific programs, although APTA said how this impacts the New Starts program and other General Fund surface transportation programs had yet to be detailed.
APTA added that it is anticipated that Mica’s bill will focus on program consolidation, streamlining the project delivery process, and greater use of innovative financing and public-private partnerships. And talk of potential cuts to Safe Routes to School and other bike/ped programs are not being well received in Mica’s home state of Florida.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) did not include surface transportation authorization on his list of bills that would be allocated floor time before the August congressional recess.
In the Senate, the Environment and Public Works Committee chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced last month an agreement in principle on an authorization bill at funding levels of $339.2 billion.
The current extension of SAFETEA-LU expires Sept. 30.