Passing the Omnibus

May 2, 2017

Details of the 1,665 page 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill, the legislation that would provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the current fiscal year, was posted online just after 2 a.m. Monday.

The bill, intended to provide funding until September 30, 2017, could see House floor action as early as Wednesday followed by Senate consideration before the end of the week. The House Rules Committee will consider the legislation at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, a committee spokesperson said.

Of interest:

Department of Transportation (DOT) The bill includes $19.3 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Transportation for fiscal year 2017. This is $681 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $6.2 billion below the President’s request. In total budgetary resources, the bill provides $77.1 billion to improve and maintain our nation’s transportation infrastructure. The bill targets funding to programs and projects that will increase efficiency, safety, reliability, and quality of life for the traveling public, and that will help improve commerce and economic growth.

Highways – The bill allows $44 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-aid Highways Program, which is $905 million above the fiscal year 2016 level. This funding mirrors the levels authorized in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act), and will provide much needed improvements to America’s highways and bridges.

Rail The Federal Railroad Administration is funded at $1.85 billion, an increase of $173 million over the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. , the bill provides $98 million in grants for safety improvements and investments to the physical rail infrastructure to help ensure the safety of passengers and local communities. No funding is provided for high-speed rail.

Transit The bill provides $12.4 billion in total budgetary resources for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) – $657 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Transit formula grants total $9.7 billion  to help local communities build, maintain, and ensure the safety of their mass transit systems. Within this amount, $2.4 billion is provided for Capital Investment Grants, including $1.5 billion for all current “Full Funding Grant Agreement” (FFGA) transit projects. Core capacity projects receive $333 million in the bill, and $408 million is included to fund all state and local “Small Starts” projects that will begin in fiscal year 2017. These programs provide competitive grant funding for major transit capital investments – including rapid rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and commuter rail – that are planned and operated by local communities.

Safety $911 million in total budgetary resources for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and $644 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Also included is $236 million for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

TIGER Grants – The legislation funds National Infrastructure Investment grants (known as TIGER grants) at $500 million These grants are awarded by the Department of Transportation to states and local communities for infrastructure construction and improvements.

Omnibus Summaries For links to detailed summaries of the 11 Appropriations bills within the Omnibus, including funding levels and policy items, click here:

For the full Committee Report on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development portion of the Omnibus, including a detailed funding table, click here: