Update--SAFETEA-LU Extension and Federal Transportation Appropriations
The Senate Environment and Public Works committee passed a four-month extension of SAFETEA-LU on September 8, 2011, continuing funding at the current $43 billion level. This proposal would extend current highway programs through January 31, 2012, allowing Congress more time to negotiate a longer-term reauthorization bill. The bill also rescinds $3.13 billion in unobligated highway balances, effective September 1, 2012, to achieve consistency with the funding levels authorized under the Budget Control Act.
Also this week, the House Appropriations Committee announced that it would allocate $55 billion for transportation, housing and urban development next year, substantially less than the $74 billion in transportation spending called for in the Administration's proposed 2012 budget.
Additionally, President Obama announced a $447 billion job creation proposal on September 8. Called the American Jobs Act, it features infrastructure investments as a key component of a larger job creation strategy, and includes $50 billion in immediate surface transportation spending and an additional $10 billion to establish a national infrastructure bank.