Highway Spending Bill for Fiscal Year 2017 Approved Earlier this Month, With Highway Spending Capped at 2016 Level

Thursday, May 18, 2017
Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations released the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY 2017, which includes allocations for the FY2017 Highway Spending Bill. Highlights under Transportation/Housing and Urban Development included in the release are:

  • Department of Transportation (DOT) – The bill includes $19.3 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Transportation for fiscal year 2017. This is $681 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $6.2 billion below the President’s request. In total budgetary resources, the bill provides $77.1 billion to improve and maintain our nation’s transportation infrastructure.
  • The bill targets funding to programs and projects that will increase efficiency, safety, reliability, and quality of life for the traveling public, and that will help improve commerce and economic growth.
  • Highways – The bill allows $44 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-aid Highways Program, which is $905 million above the fiscal year 2016 level. This funding mirrors the levels authorized in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act), and will provide much-needed improvements to America’s highways and bridges.

Additional information on the FAST Act, signed into law in December 2015, is available through the Federal Highway Administration. 

A summary from the National Asphalt Pavement Association breaks down some of the provisions in a Legislative Special Report:

  • Provides the full $43,266 billion obligation on the federal-aid highways program recommended by the FAST Act.
  • Appropriates an extra $528 million from the general fund for the highway emergency relief program.
  • Appropriates $500 million for the national infrastructure investment (TIGER) grant program in 2017.
  • Freezes the Airport Improvement Program at $3.350 billion.

NAPA also provides a link to the 2017 apportionment-state by-state to see individual state allocations, as well as 2016 and 2017 funding amounts.