Trump Extends FAST Act for One Year

Oct. 5, 2020

President Trump signed a continuing resolution, or CR, that funds federal government programs on October 1—the beginning of fiscal year 2021—through December 11 and extends current surface transportation funding reauthorization after it cleared the Senate late on September 20 by a vote of 84 to 10.

The house passed its CR, which included a one-year extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation or FAST Act, on September 22 by a vote of 359 to 57, with one member voting present. The FAST Act extension includes an additional $13.6 billion added to the Highway Trust Fund—an increase urged by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and 87 organizations to Congressional leadership. 

According to a report in Transport Topics, policymakers on Capitol Hill argued they simply ran out of time to reauthorize the FAST Act. The yearlong extension, which ensures temporary funding for highway and transit programs, offers an opportunity to produce a new highway policy bill, lawmakers claimed. 

According to an analysis by the AASHTO policy team, some benefits the FAST Act extension within the CR provides are:

  • Obligation limitation through December 11, estimated to be $9.1 billion for the Federal-aid Highway Program.
  • An extension of FAST Act funding and provisions from FY 2020 to all of FY 2021, including contract authority formula apportionments to states.
  • A $10.4 billion general fund transfer to the HTF’s Highway Account and a $3.2 billion transfer to the Mass Transit Account.
  • A $14 billion general fund transfer to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, making up for the aviation excise tax holiday included in the $2 trillion CARES Act passed in March.

“We urge everyone in state DOT community and transportation industry as a whole to make the most of this extension,” said Joung Lee, AASHITO's director of policy and government relations. “We are also now urging Congress to get a multi-year [surface transportation reauthorization] bill passed when this extension expiries in September 2021.”