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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

House committee's FY13 resolution 'worst-ever' for transportation, TDD says; House to extend SAFETEA-LU again

Yesterday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled a fiscal-year 2013 budget resolution that includes $1.8 trillion in mandatory spending cuts — and transportation programs would be among those taking a big hit.

The budget resolution would slash transportation spending from $88.6 billion in FY2012 to $57.1 billion in FY2013, according to a press release issued by the Transportation Trades Department (TTD). With Amtrak and public-transit systems already cutting jobs and service at a time when ridership is rising to near-record levels, the spending cut couldn’t come at a worse time, said TTD President Edward Wytkind.

“The Ryan budget resolution … is the worst for transportation that we have ever seen,” he said in a prepared statement. “It not only turns a blind eye toward programs that would create millions of middle-class jobs, help seniors and assist the most vulnerable in American society, it also leaves our transportation system in a state of ruin.”

Meanwhile, despite the Senate last week approving a $109 billion, two-year surface transportation bill, the House is expected to consider a short-term extension of the current legislation, according to a report from The Hill. The extension would be the ninth since SAFETEA-LU expired in September 2009.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/21/2012