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NACo > Legislation & Policy > Washington Watch > Posts > ​Senate Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Bill
June 06
​Senate Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Bill

On June 5, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2015 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations bill by a 29-1 vote. The lone vote against the bill came from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.). The T-HUD Subcommittee approved the bill, which includes $54.4 billion in discretionary FY 2015 funding for T-HUD programs, earlier in the week by voice vote.

Transportation Highlights
For the U.S. Department of Transportation, the bill provides a total of $18.1 billion in discretionary budget authority and $53.6 billion in obligation limitations, for a total of $71.7 billion in FY 2015. This level of funding represents a $536 million increase from FY 2014 enacted levels and $17.8 billion less than what was requested in the President’s budget. The House Appropriations Committee approved its T-HUD spending bill (H.R. 4745) on May 21, providing $17.1 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Transportation in FY 2015.

TIGER Grants: The bill includes $550 million for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover (TIGER) grant program, which is $50 million less than the FY 2014 enacted level and $700 million less than was requested in the President’s budget, but $450 million more than what was provided in the House T-HUD bill for FY 2015.

Highway funding: The bill includes $40.3 billion for the federal-aid highways program, which is equal to the level of funding authorized and enacted for FY 2014. This is amount is consistent with the House T-HUD funding level but $7 billion less than what was requested in the President’s budget.

Transit funding: The bill includes a total of $11.1 billion for transit programs, an increase of $310 million above the FY 2014 enacted level and $600 million more than was included in the House T-HUD bill but $6.6 billion below the amount requested in the President’s budget. The amount provided for transit programs includes $8.6 billion for formula grants, which is consistent with the House T-HUD funding level and equal to the amount enacted for FY 2014. In addition to the funding for formula grants, the bill provides $2.163 billion for transit capital investment grants, an increase of $221 million from FY 2014 and substantially more than the $1.691 billion provided in the House bill. However, the amount still falls short of the $2.5 billion recommended for projects by the Administration.

Air Transportation: The bill provides increased funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which includes a total of $261 million for the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, an amount that is consistent with the President’s budget request and $6 million more than was provided in the House T-HUD bill. 

Crude Oil Shipment Safety: The bill includes a major new initiative targeted at improving the safe transport of crude oil, including funding for emergency responder training for communities on or near rail lines that transport a significant amount of high-risk energy products or toxic inhalation hazards.

Expands Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis: The bill includes language that encourages the Federal Highway Administration to encourage state departments of transportation to use cost-benefit analysis when selecting highway projects.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Highlights
The bill includes $36 billion for HUD programs, $3.2 billion more than FY 2014, despite the unanticipated shortfall in funding resulting from a decrease in Federal Housing Administration mortgage receipts.

CDBG and HOME: The bill contains $3.02 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. This is a slight $10 million cut from the current $3.03 billion funding level for FY 2014 but $20 million above the House bill. The Senate bill includes $950 million for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), the same amount requested by the President’s budget. This amount is $50 million below the FY 2014 enacted level and $250 million above the House bill.

Housing Vouchers: The Senate bill includes $19.6 billion for Section 8 housing vouchers, an increase of $385 million over FY 2014 and $300 million above the House bill. Both the House and Senate appropriations bills contain $75 million to support 10,000 new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, housing vouchers for homeless veterans. Section 8 project-based rent subsidies would be funded at $9.7 billion, level requested by the President’s budget but $200 million below the FY 2014 appropriations level. The House bill provides $9.35 billion.

Homeless Assistance: Homeless housing assistance grants would be funded at $2.15 billion under the Senate bill, $261 million below the President’s budget but $40 million above the FY 2014 enacted level.  The House bill contains $2.1 billion. The Senate bill provides $90 million for the Choice Neighborhoods program to demolish and replace public and other assisted housing. This amount is equal to the FY 2014 level but $30 million below the President’s budget. The House bill includes $25 million.

Contact: DOT- Jessica Monahan at jmonahan@naco.org  202.942.4217; HUD- Daria Daniel at ddaniel@naco.org or 202.942.4212​ 

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