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House, Senate committees consider FY 2004 transportation funding


On Sept. 4, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal-year 2004 Transportation, Treasury and Independent Agencies Appropriations bill, which would provide $7 billion for the federal transit program — an increase of $126 million compared with FY 2003.

The bill includes $1.3 billion for Amtrak and $1.3 billion for the New Starts program.

The full House also discussed its version of the bill (H.R. 2989), which would provide $7.2 billion for federal transit programs and $1.2 billion for new starts.

Once the bills are approved by the House and Senate, a conference committee from both chambers will be established to reconcile differences. A conference agreement then would be sent back to the House and Senate for final approval.

This month, the House and Senate also expect to discuss Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century reauthorization. Options under discussion include extending the program for six months or two years. A six-month extension would last until the House and Senate consider reauthorizing a six-year bill in 2004, and a two-year extension would delay decisions on how to finance a longer-term bill until after next year’s presidential election.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/8/2003