The United States House Appropriations Committee’s Transportation Subcommittee has proposed a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill that includes drastic cuts to Amtrak funding. In response, SMART released the following statement:

“The House Appropriations Committee’s Transportation Subcommittee’s proposed bill is dangerous for passenger rail transportation in America because it fails to meet the minimum level of funding necessary for Amtrak to safely operate its trains and maintain its assets. Funding shortages will adversely affect numerous capital projects that are essential to improving infrastructure and passenger rail services throughout our country. The failure to fully fund Amtrak is anti-American: It is an attack on America’s public passenger rail transportation, and it is an attack on working Americans. If Amtrak is not fully funded, it could kill thousands of railroad industry jobs, which will negatively impact our communities. Amtrak is good for our country, and it is good for our economy.”

faa_logoThe House approved a bill on Monday to extend federal aviation funding, which is currently set to expire on Wednesday, until March 2016. 

The measure, introduced on Friday by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R – Pa.), was approved by the lower chamber on a voice vote Monday afternoon in an effort to prevent an interruption in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) funding midweek. 

The quick House action follows an earlier Senate effort to attach the FAA funding extension to a bill to prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1 that failed last week. 

Read more from The Hill

faa_logoThe Senate’s bill to prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1 would extend federal aviation funding for six months. 

The measure, which was released by Senate appropriators on Tuesday, Sept. 22, contains language that would extend the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) funding until March 31, 2016. 

The FAA’s previous appropriations measure, which includes funding for air traffic controllers, is set to expire on Sept. 30, along with funding for most federal government functions.

Read more from The Hill

STB_logoCongress over the weekend sent to President Obama for his signature a two-month extension of federal funding of highway and transit programs. The surface transportation law known as MAP-21 was set to expire May 31.

The House passed its bill — sponsored by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Bill Shuster (R-PA.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — a week ago, while the Senate passed the bill on Saturday. 

Although pleased that the legislation will prevent a shutdown of summer projects, some transportation industry leaders expressed frustration and disappointment that Congress passed another short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund.

Read more from Progressive Railroading.