House Works on Transportation Legislation

by Leslie Wollack

As Nation's Cities Weekly went to press, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed H.R. 7, a five-year $260 billion surface transportation program. The bill includes funding for federal transit, highways, bridges and rail programs.

This bill would replace the program that expired in September 2009. The current extension expires on March 31 and Congressional leaders hope to avoid another short-term extension.

The full House will consider the bill this week. The Senate is expected to act quickly on its own bill, which is vastly different from the House version. Watch and Nation's Cities Weekly for further details on the bills.

In addition, the House Ways and Means Committee took up a proposal to make drastic changes in the way federal funding pays for public transportation. The House Ways and Means Committee, acting on the financing portion of H.R. 7, proposed to end dedicated funding for public transportation, a structure dating back 30 years and pitting it against other federal spending priorities. NLC joined other transit supporters in strongly opposing the proposal.