Wednesday, June 6, 2012


U.S. House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Releases Draft Text for Fiscal Year 2013 Spending Bill
Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) released draft language that will be used as a blueprint for the subcommittee’s markup of their Fiscal Year 2013 spending bill tomorrow. In the draft language, the subcommittee provides no money for the TIGER discretionary grant program (the U.S. Senate provided $500 million for this grant program) and only appropriates $1.817 billion for New Starts projects (the Senate allocated $2.044 billion – with funding for our two New Starts projects). The Fiscal Year 2013 Budget released by President Obama in February of this year included $2.265 billion for New Starts projects and included funding for Metro's two projects, the Downtown Regional Connector ($31 million) and the Westside Subway Extension ($50 Million). The reduced funding for the New Starts program in the draft House transportation appropriations bill means that our Government Relations team and federal advocates will be working with House and Senate offices to ensure that the final transportation appropriations bill adopted by Congress and sent to the President later this year includes funding for the Downtown Regional Connector ($31 million) and the Westside Subway Extension ($50 million). For your review, please click here to access the draft language from the transportation appropriations subcommittee.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Joins Our Agency in Opposing House Action That Would Cut $191 Million in Federal Funding for Metro in Federal Fiscal Year 2013
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is opposing a motion to instruct by Congressman Paul Broun (R-GA) that would direct House conferees on the surface transportation bill (H.R. 4348) to cut federal highway and transit funding by nearly 25% in Federal Fiscal Year 2013. In advance of a House vote on the Broun motion later this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce authored a letter to all House members sharing that, “Cuts of this magnitude would eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, would curb critical safety programs and would cause a substantial portion of transportation projects to be shelved.” The letter to House members was signed by the chamber’s chief lobbyist, R. Bruce Josten. 
Adoption of the Broun motion to instruct conferees into law would result in a cut of over $191 million for our agency during Federal Fiscal Year 2013. The Broun motion to instruct would limit total "funding out of the Highway Trust Fund" in Fiscal Year 2013 to the amount that the Congressional Budget Office currently projects will be deposited in the Trust Fund under current law tax rates (plus interest on balances). Our Government Relations staff and Federal advocates have been informing members of the Los Angeles County Congressional Delegation of the severe negative impact the Broun motion to instruct conferees would have on our agency. We will keep all Board members apprised of this matter as the Broun motion to instruct transportation conferees is considered by the House of Representatives later this week.

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