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10/6/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Congress signs off on FY2007 homeland security funding but still needs to approve transit appropriations bill



Congress recently approved a continuing resolution to fund the Federal Transit Administration’s administrative expenses through Nov. 17 and scheduled a “lame duck” session in November to vote on the transportation appropriations bill and other legislation, according to the American Public Transportation Association. The 2007 federal fiscal year began on Oct. 1.

New transit funds will not be available until Congress passes the FY2007 Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 5576). In June, the House passed its version of the bill, which would fund the federal transit program at $8.979 billion, a 5.6 percent increase compared with FY2006 funding and higher amount than funds guaranteed under SAFETEA-LU. However, the Senate has not yet acted on an $8.875 billion bill approved in July by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The House and Senate did approve the FY2007 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations conference report (H.R. 5441), which President Bush signed on Oct. 4. The bill provides $175 million for transit and rail security, a $25 million increase compared with the amount provided in the FY2005 and FY2006 Homeland Security appropriations bills. DHS now will decide how much money will be allocated for transit agencies and which agencies will be eligible for funding.



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