Congress Passes 5 Year Transportation Reauthorization Bill

CONGRESS PASSES 5 YEAR TRANSPORTATION REAUTHORIZATION BILL

On Thursday, both the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act that reauthorizes surface transportation programs for 5 years. The bill provides $205B for highway programs ($41B/year) and $48B ($9.5B/year) for transit programs. The FAST Act is the result of a conference agreement between the House and Senate after each had passed their respective bills. The bill includes $70B in offsets from other areas of the federal budget in order to close the gap between what the Highway Trust Fund takes in from the gas tax and the yearly spending on transportation programs. Although the bill did not address making the Highway Trust Fund sustainable beyond the next 5 years, this is the first bill to reauthorize transportation programs for more than 2 years since 2005.