A Senate panel has rejected President Trump’s effort to eliminate Obama-era transportation grants, instead opting to provide a funding boost for the program.
TheHill.com reports the Senate Appropriations subcommittee for transportation approved a 2018 spending bill on Tuesday that would allow $550 million for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
TIGER grants originated in 2009 and provide money to states and cites for a wide ranges of surface transportation projects.
The White House has proposed killing TIGER and last week a Republican House panel agreed to cut the TIGER grant program.
However, Senate subcommittee chairperson Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) said it was important to increase funding for the grant program “given the poor condition of our nation’s infrastructure.”
The Senate's measure would provide $19.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Transportation, which is $3.3 billion more than the Administration has requested.
It would also give $45 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-Aid Highways Program, provide $1.1 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration’s modernization program, and provide $2.1 billion for the Capital Investment Grant program.
CBS News reports that during a conversation between Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) and Senator Collins after Tuesday's committee meeting, Collins was heard to say "I swear, [the Office of Management and Budget] just went through and whenever there was 'grant,' they just X it out. With no measurement, no thinking about it, no metrics, no nothing. It's just incredibly irresponsible."