The House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee this week marked-up its $57.3 billion piece of the reconciliation package with a focus on mass transit and high-speed rail.
- The House bill aims to supplement surface transportation measures that are included in the Senate-passed bipartisan “physical” infrastructure bill. (T& I Bill text; section-by-section and Roundtable Weekly, Aug. 13)
- Many of the T&I measures are now in line with the Biden administration’s original transit priorities, which were pared down in the Senate’s final physical infrastructure bill. (Washington Post, Sept. 10)
Roundtable-supported measures in the T&I Committee’s bill include:
- A competitive federal grant program to support transit access for affordable housing projects and improve mobility for low-income riders;
- Grants administered by the Federal Highway Administration to support transportation equity and reconnect communities divided by “existing infrastructure barriers;”
- Funds to improve high-speed rail corridors;
- Credit risk assistance to develop rail infrastructure under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement financing (RRIF) program; and
- Funds to convert federal buildings owned or managed by the General Services Administration to “high-performance green buildings.”
- Separately, the Ways and Means Committee’s package also proposed favorable tax-exempt bond financing improvements to attract greater public-private partnership investments in transportation projects.
Timing for a House vote on the sprawling reconciliation bill is uncertain. Modifications to the tax, energy or transportation sections of the bill could be introduced when it is sent to the House Rules Committee, which determines floor action – or through an amendment on the floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) can afford to lose only three votes when the final legislation comes to a vote. (Bloomberg, Sept. 15)
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