U.S. House Appropriations Committee adopts fiscal year 2013 transportation spending bill

More less-than-great news from Washington, although this is just a step in the long process of getting some type of annual bill approved Here’s the update from Metro’s government relations staff:

Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee adopted the Fiscal Year 2013 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill on a voice vote. The bill provides a total of approximately $51 billion in discretionary spending for the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Departments.

The level of funding provided in the bill is nearly $4 billion less than Fiscal Year 2012 and $1.9 billion less than the Obama Administration’s request. The bill adopted by the Committee provides no money for the TIGER discretionary grant program (the U.S. Senate provided $500 million for this grant program) and only appropriates $1.817 billion for New Starts projects (the Senate allocated $2.044 billion – with funding for our two New Starts projects).

The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget released by President Obama in February of this year included $2.265 billion for New Starts projects and included funding for Metro’s two projects, the Downtown Regional Connector ($31 million) and the Westside Subway Extension ($50 million). The reduced funding for the New Starts program in the draft House transportation appropriations bill means that our Government Relations team and federal advocates will be working with House and Senate offices to ensure that the final transportation appropriations bill adopted by Congress and sent to the President later this year reflects the Board’s priorities.