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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Trump signs bill to avert government shutdown, extends FAST Act by a year


Congress yesterday passed and President Donald Trump last night signed legislation to prevent a government shutdown by continuing to fund federal programs at current levels through Dec. 11.

The Continuing Resolution Appropriations Act (H.R. 8337) also extends the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act for one year, and ensures the Mass Transit Account in the federal Highway Trust Fund will remain solvent during that period, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) officials said in a press release.

The Mass Transit Account funds public transit agencies. The FAST Act was scheduled to expire yesterday. The bill signed yesterday is the first time in 30 years that Congress enacted a one-year extension of surface transportation authorization programs after the lapse of a multiyear authorization act, APTA officials said.

The FAST Act extension provides at least $12.6 billion for public transit investment and prevents a $6 billion across-the-board cut to public transit agencies, they said. The legislation provides $3.2 billion to the Mass Transit Account.

"While passage of this bill is vital to the industry, Congress still needs to address the urgent and dire situation faced by public transportation systems across the nation," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas. "As Congress negotiates the newly proposed Heroes Act, APTA implores both chambers of Congress and the administration to provide at least $32 billion in critical federal support to enable the public transit industry to survive this unprecedented pandemic."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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