Federal FY 2024 Transportation Appropriations Finalized

A more than $467 billion spending package passed by the House of Representatives includes six of the 12 annual appropriations bills for fiscal year 2024, including the Transportation-Housing Urban Development or THUD funding measure – the first of two “minibuses” expected to close out the FY 2024 appropriations process.

[Above photo by USDOT]

The Senate passed the measure 75–22, with three legislators abstaining from the vote, late on March 8, with President Biden into law. That spending measure keeps the federal agencies it covers operating through September 30.

The THUD funding package provides $107.1 billion in total budgetary resources, with $76.8 billion in obligation limitation from the Highway Trust Fund or HTF and $27 billion in discretionary resources out of the General Fund or GF.

Analysis by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials indicates that all funding levels established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA via HTF and GF advance appropriations are included within the THUD package.

However, AASHTO noted that a legislative fix to August Redistribution is not included in the final THUD package. AASHTO sent a letter to Congressional leaders on February 26 specifically addressing the fiscal issues generated by “unprecedented growth” of the Federal Highway Administration’s “August Redistribution” of highway funds over the last several years.

For 2024, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that $8.5 billion will be available through August Redistribution – on top of the roughly $7 billion made available each of the last two years.

Critically, those dollars are not “free,” AASHTO stressed – they represent an advance on the next year’s HTF dollars, which results in a significant reduction in formula funding provided to states at the beginning of the next fiscal year.

AASHTO’s analysis also indicated that, within the FY 2024 THUD measure, there is a $200 million repurposing of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act or TIFIA loan funding balances coupled with $50 million from the GF to support a new “competitive” highway bridge program with specific eligibility requirements.

AASHTO also laid out the specific appropriations each USDOT modal administration is expected to receive for FY 2024 following passage of the THUD measure within the omnibus spending package:

  • Federal Highway Administration: $60.1 billion in obligated HTF funds plus $639 million in contract authority exempt from obligation; $2.2 billion in additional GF for “Highway Infrastructure Programs” with $1.9 billion of that amount used for earmarks; 10-year-old and older highway earmarks with less than 10 percent obligated can be repurposed under Surface Transportation Block Grant Program or STBGP eligibility within 25 miles of the original earmark location;      Removes the call for a Government Accountability Office study of the federal-aid Highway Program formula apportionment that originated in the Senate’s FY 2024 THUD report.
  • Federal Transit Administration: $14 billion in obligated HTF funds with $2.2 billion to fund in Capital Investment Grants; $253 million GF supplement with $207 million for earmarks.
  • Federal Railroad Administration: All of this agency’s FY 2024 appropriations come from the GF; $1.1 billion for Amtrak Northeast Corridor; $1.3 billion for Amtrak National Network; $5 million for Northeast Corridor Commission; $3 million for the State-Amtrak Intercity Passenger Rail Committee or SAIPRC; $199 million for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements or CRISI program; $75 million for Federal-State Intercity Passenger Rail Partnership Grants; No supplemental GF funding for Grade Crossing Elimination Grants or Rail Restoration and Enhancement Grants.
  • Federal Aviation Administration: $12.1 billion for operations from Airport and Airway Trust Fund or AATF and $636 million from the GF; $3.35 billion for Airport Improvement Program from AATF and $532 million from the GF; $3.2 billion for Facilities and Equipment.
  • Office of the Secretary: All from the GF; $345 million for Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity or RAISE grants; $25 million for Rural and Tribal Infrastructure Advancement; $349 million for Essential Air Services; No supplemental GF funding for National Infrastructure Project Assistance or “MEGA” grants or the Thriving Communities grant program.
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: $927 million in obligated HTF funds.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: $813 million in obligated HTF funds and $424 million in additional GF support.
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