New Republican Rule Changes Highway Funding
Members of the House Republican Conference voted on Jan. 4 to enact rule changes in the 112th Congress that make transportation infrastructure spending decisions part of the congressional budget appropriations process, according to Pit & Quarry. Their article is below:
According to NSSGA, the rule change will classify highway funding as “other general spending,” subjecting it to any congressional attempt to reduce the spending level. In essence, NSSGA added, the rule would repeal the guaranteed funding requirement for annual federal highway investment. The House rule governing transportation funding that had been in place effectively blocked members from reducing outlays for transit and highway projects below the minimum levels set forth in federal surface transportation legislation.
An array of business groups and labor unions, including NSSGA, teamed up to fight the original proposed rule. Opponents add that the rule will hurt investment in transportation infrastructure, reduce jobs and make annual federal highway and transit investments subject to the whims of the appropriations process. Republican supporters say the rule change provides a means to reduce the federal deficit, noting that the current system has forced the government to cover outlays required by the federal transportation-funding law.