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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

House committee's funding bill would ax TIGER program

In fiscal-year 2017, the program was funded at $500 million.
Photo – USDOT

The U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee on Monday released a transportation, housing and urban development funding bill that would eliminate the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

Since 2009, Congress has dedicated nearly $4.6 billion for seven rounds of the TIGER program. In fiscal-year 2017, the program was funded at $500 million.

Although the committee's bill cuts support for TIGER, the proposal includes $17.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for the U.S. Department of Transportation in FY2018. That figure is about $1.5 billion higher than President Donald Trump's earlier request for the department.

The proposal also provides $2.2 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, marking a $360 million increase over FY2017's enacted level. In addition, the bill provides $1.4 billion for Amtrak. Of that amount, $328 million is targeted for Northeast Corridor grants, while $1.1 billion would go toward supporting the national network.

The bill also prohibits funding for California's high-speed rail project, according to the press release issued by the Appropriations Committee.

The Federal Transit Administration would receive $11.75 billion for FY2018, marking a $662 million decrease compared with the previous fiscal year. Transit formula grants would total $9.7 billion, which is consistent at authorized levels.

Within that amount, $1.75 billion is included for the Capital Investment Grants program, while anther $1 billion is set aside for Full Funding Grant Agreement transit projects.

In total, the Appropriations Committee's FY2018 bill would allocate $56.4 billion in discretionary funding, which is $1.1 billion below the previous fiscal year.

The funds are targeted at "essential investments" in transportation infrastructure, as well as fundamental community development and housing programs, according to the release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/12/2017