House Subcommittee Approves $Half-Billion DOT Cut

July 12, 2017 reports a House Appropriations subcommittee met Tuesday evening and agreed to cut the $500 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program from the Department of Transportation's fiscal year 2018 budget.

The move would completely eliminate  the $500 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The TIGER grant program was created by the previous administration but never authorized by Congress. It has been a popular funding tool among cities and states because of its wide range of eligibility.

On Monday evening, the committee released its 2018 spending bill for transportation and housing that gives DOT $17.8 billion in discretionary funding, $646 million less than current levels and $1.5 billion above President Trump's request.

The DOT spending bill also reduces funding for the for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program, known as New Starts, by $660 million. Money from the defunct TIGER program could go to the Gateway Program, a $24 billion rail and tunnel project between New York and New Jersey.

The proposed  DOT spending bill would allow $45 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-Aid Highways Program, provide $1 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration’s modernization program and prohibit funding for high-speed rail in California.

$100 million in new funding is proposed for autonomous vehicle research.

The bill also includes a measure to prevent states from implementing meal and rest breaks for truckers.