After a brief lapse of funding overnight, the Senate and House of Representatives voted early this morning to re-open the government after an hours-long shutdown at Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 levels through March 23, 2018. The measure also raises budget caps for both FY 2018 and FY 2019. The legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 240-186 and the Senate by a vote of 71-28. The budget deal was the product of negotiations between both parties, announced by Senate leadership on Wednesday. It would also suspend the federal debt ceiling until March 1, 2019, and provide nearly $90 billion for disaster relief aid. Also included in the package is a “tax-extenders” deal that includes retroactive alternative fuel benefits for properties and vehicles for FY 2017, which APTA has advocated for.
On the spending side, the budget agreement would raise defense caps by $80 billion over current law in FY 2018 and $85 billion in FY 2019. On non-defense discretionary spending, the caps would increase by $63 billion for FY 2018 and $68 billion the next year. A portion of this non-discretionary spending would reportedly go to funding for infrastructure, however, the allocation of those funds will be determined by the Appropriations Committees. Raising these spending caps is expected to provide a way for lawmakers to complete a full-year appropriations bill for FY 2018 by March 23, as we have advocated.
President Trump Infrastructure Proposal May be Released Monday
There have been reports that the official release of President Trump’s infrastructure proposal will be Monday, February 12, the same day as the planned release of the President’s FY 2019 budget. These reports have not been officially confirmed by the White House and it is unclear how detailed the proposal will be, but we will update you with our analysis next week.