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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Transportation impacts varied under new debt deal, APTA says


An initial analysis of the new Budget Control Act signed by President Obama last week reveals “no specific impact” on transportation accounts or the Highway Trust Fund/Mass Transit Account (HTF/MTA), according to a legislative analysis conducted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

The act treats spending under the HTF/MTA as mandatory spending, and as a result, is not subject to the legislation’s discretionary caps, APTA determined. The new law does not provide any additional revenue, “and thus does nothing to ensure the solvency of the HTF/MTA,” APTA officials said in the analysis, which is posted on the association’s website.

“As a result, the scenario facing House and Senate transportation authorizing committees remains unchanged,” they said.

APTA officials expect House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica to proceed with his six-year surface transportation authorization bill at “revenue-constrained” funding levels. Although the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over the federal highway program, has proposed a two-year authorization bill that would fund transit and highway programs at current levels, it’s not clear how the new legislation will affect efforts to raise the $12 billion to fund that bill, APTA officials said in the analysis.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/8/2011