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House GOP proposes tighter transportation spending in FY2016


The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee released its fiscal-year 2016 budget proposals for transportation, housing and urban development, which call for cuts to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) discretionary spending, as well as reductions in the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) budgets.

The bill proposes $17.2 billion in discretionary appropriations for the USDOT, which is $1 billion less than the fiscal-year 2015 level and $6.8 billion below President Obama’s request for the department.

The FRA would be funded at $1.4 billion, a $262 million reduction from FY2015’s enacted level. The amount includes $289 million for Amtrak‘s operations to continue service for current routes. An additional $850 million would be provided for capital grants. The budget also would limit overtime for Amtrak employees and prohibit federal funding for routes offering a 50 percent or more discount off normal or peak fares.

Also, rail safety and research programs would be funded at $226 million, which is equal to the FY2015 enacted amounts. An additional $6.5 million would fund a highway grade crossing safety initiative.