A group of 41 transportation organizations urged Congress to repeal a $7.6 billion rescission in federal-aid Highway Program contract authority as part of any Continuing Resolution considered by Congress arguing that the rescission will undermine efforts to boost federal infrastructure investment and harm states.
The last surface transportation reauthorization, known as the FAST Act, contained a provision that would rescind $7.6 billion in unobligated federal-aid Highway Program contract authority on July 1, 2020. If the rescission takes effect, it would reduce the baseline level of funding budgeted for the reauthorization, making new funding more difficult to include in future budgets.
In a September 12 letter sent to Congressional leadership, the organizations said all 50 states and the District of Columbia will be hurt by the rescission, which will occur on July 1, 2020, in accordance with Section 1438 of the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation or FAST Act.
“If allowed to take place, this provision will virtually wipe out all remaining contract authority available to states nationwide in the core highway formula programs subject to the rescission,” the letter states. “In addition, the rescission will significantly depress the ten year budget baseline for surface transportation programs beginning in Fiscal Year 2021, undermining significant bipartisan support in Congress and the Administration for boosting federal infrastructure investment.”
In the letter, addressed to Sen. Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader (R.-Ky.); Sen. Charles Schumer, Minority Leader (D.-N.Y.); Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker (D.-Calif.); and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader, (R.-Calif), the organizations said that it is critical that Congress repeals the impending rescission this month in order to provide stability to federal surface transportation programs.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) in July approved S. 1992 to repeal the legislatively required rescission of highway funding.
The American Highway Users Alliance, of which NATSO is a member, has said the rescission repeal must be enacted before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, 2019.
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