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8/8/2011



Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Transportation impacts varied under new debt deal, APTA says


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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.



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