Surface Transportation Reauthorization Update: House and Senate Negotiators Reach Conference Agreement

Posted on: December 2nd, 2015 by Carrie Kissel

House and Senate negotiators reached agreement yesterday on a 5-year highway and transit reauthorization package totaling $305 billion. H.R. 22, Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, is the result of negotiations between House and Senate conferees charged with resolving differences between the House’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 and the Senate’s Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act.  The conference agreement would require a transfer of $70 billion in general fund revenue to the Highway Trust Fund from a variety of sources.

Key highlights of the conference agreement:

  • Creates a new formula program for highway freight projects
  • Establishes a new grant program for large-scale projects, the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program
  • Modifies the National Highway Freight Network created by MAP-21 and requires re-designation of the network every 5 years
  • Continues the set-aside for off-system bridges and expands funding available for on-system bridges located off the National Highway System
  • Converts the Surface Transportation Program (STP) to a block grant program; increases STP suballocation to local governments from 50 to 55 percent
  • Rolls the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) into STP; allows 50 percent of certain TAP funding suballocated to local areas to be used on any STP-eligible project
  • Reinstates a competitive grant program for bus and bus facilities funds with a 10 percent set-aside for rural projects

Click here (PDF) to read the Joint Explanatory Statement for the conference agreement and here (PDF) to view the full text of the bill.

The House and Senate are expected to approve the conference agreement this week. A short-term extension may be necessary to allow time for the President to sign the agreement.

If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact NADO Director of Government Relations and Legislative Affairs Susan Howard at [email protected] (showard null@null nado or 202.624.8590.

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