Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted on the FY12 spending bill for Transportation and Housing agencies. The result was a continued investment in important programs such as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), High Speed Rail, New Starts, and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities programs.
The bill passed by a 28-2 margin, with Senators McConnell (KY) and Johnson (WI) opposing the measure- please email your Senators’ staff (you can see here which senators are on the Appropriations Committee) and thank them for their support for continued investment in programs that facilitate a smarter, safer, and multi-modal transportation system—benefiting the nation as a whole. You can look at this thank you letter that T4 sent for sample language.
SAFETEA-LU Extension Update
Congress also recently passed a 6-month, clean extension of SAFETEA-LU, which was tied to an extension of the Federal Aviation Administration and the gas tax. In the Senate, Senator Coburn (R-OK) threatened to hold up the legislation in order to strike funding for the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program. Thanks to successful mobilization efforts by many of our partners, we successfully pushed back against Senator Coburn, thus protecting a vital source of funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects across the country. However, even though we have won this battle, the war on bicycle and pedestrian safety funding isn’t over. Transportation for America will keep you updated about any future attacks on this important funding.
The Livable Communities Act of 2011
Earlier this week, Senator Menendez (D- NJ) introduced the Livable Community Act of 2011 with 17 cosponsors. The bill would create an Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as a loan program for communities to fund transit-oriented development. The bill also directs HUD to coordinate its work with the Department of Transportation and U.S. EPA to reduce red tape and redundant programs.You can read more about the bill on Smart Growth America's blog here.
Transportation for America