The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives on September 21 calling for passage “as soon as is practicable” of fiscal year 2024 transportation appropriations bills.
[Above photo by AASHTO]
“AASHTO and our members – the departments of transportation of all states plus those of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – are working tirelessly to implement and deliver on the promise of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to improve safety, mobility, and access for everyone,” the group said in its letter.
“To that end, we strongly urge expeditious passage of a full-year Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill … to avoid funding disruption – whether due to a lapse in appropriations or through a series of Continuing Resolutions (CR) – that can impact this important work of steadily investing in our national transportation system,” AASHTO noted.
In July, the House Committee on Appropriations approved by a vote of 34 to 27 a FY 2024 THUD funding bill that reduces year-over-year funding by providing a discretionary total of just over $90.2 billion, which is more than $8.6 billion or 8.7 percent below the Biden Administration’s budget request.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Appropriations passed its own FY 2024 THUD funding bill by unanimous vote in July as well; a bill that provides more than $98.9 billion in total discretionary funding.
AASHTO noted in its letter that it is important that Congress reaches agreement on the full-year THUD bill and send it to President Biden quickly.
“As we have experienced in the past, disruptions from a lapse in appropriations or a series of short-term CRs will impede the ability of state DOTs to translate Congressional mandates and funding in the IIJA into tangible surface transportation programs and projects,” AASHTO said.
“In addition, such disruptions prevent states and local governments from being able to strategically invest IIJA dollars throughout the full federal fiscal year,” the group noted.