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A coalition of 67 public and private sector stakeholders in the transportation industry – including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials – sent a four-page letter to Congressional leadership on January 24 to urge passage of full-year appropriations for fiscal year 2022.

[Above photo by AASHTO]

That is because the Continuing Resolution or CR passed in December 2021 to keep the federal government operating does not allow full access to increased transportation funding in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA signed into law in November 2021.

Photo by the Louisiana DOTD

“Without a full-year appropriations bill, we anticipate that states, local governments, and public transit agencies will not be able to access the IIJA’s roughly 20 percent funding increase for highway formula programs and more than 30 percent increase for public transit formula programs, along with any new transportation initiatives provided for in the IIJA,” the letter noted.

It also noted that the programs hit the hardest by the CR’s prohibition on starting new programs are new formula programs – specifically the Carbon Reduction and PROTECT program – which will force state and local governments to delay their implementation.

“A delay of almost six months since the beginning of FY 2022 in providing the much-touted funding increases from the IIJA is wholly unacceptable and will cause significant project disruptions, reduced construction and manufacturing employment, and delays in delivering critical transportation infrastructure improvements – just when Americans were promised the most ambitious infrastructure package of our time,” the letter said.

Since the current CR expires on February 18 and further FY 2022 appropriations delays – including the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies or THUD bill – could follow, the letter asked Congressional leaders for “an anomaly” in the event of another CR; providing full-year obligation limitation that fully honors funding levels authorized in IIJA.

editor@aashto.org

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