News & Press

Congressional Leaders to Discuss INVEST in America Act 

On June 3, House Committee leadership took the next step in reauthorization of the Federal Highway Program when Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), unveiled the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act. As written, the INVEST Act authorizes almost $500 billion in spending over its five year window and includes an effort to assist state and local agencies grappling with the COVID impacts by making it easier for agencies to “administer programs, advance projects, and preserve jobs.”

The House T&I Committee is expected to hear the bill on Wednesday, June 17. The current proposal is a partisan bill and it is expected that the republicans will release their own bill in the coming days. As written, the democrat’s proposal has some solid proposals and a strong funding package for both long term and first year stimulus spending. It is also heavy on climate change policy and investment which has resulted in a lack of support from traditional transportation construction labor union stakeholders.

Regardless, this is the next step in the Congressional dialogue to both reauthorize the highway program and discuss the need for infrastructure stimulus funding for COVID recovery. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee authored their five-year $287 billion legislation for reauthorization, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, in July of last year and unanimously reported the bill out of committee prior to the COVID epidemic. Over the last couple of months, we have seen ongoing discussions on the need for COVID related infrastructure stimulus to create jobs with no real consensus emerging.

The introduction of the INVEST in America Act, which is consistent with the house democrats Moving Forward Framework brings us one step closer to a resolution.

The Five-Year $494 Billion Reauthorization Legislation Includes: 
- $319 billion for the Federal-aid highway program under the Federal Highway Administration
- $105 billion for transit programs under the Federal Transit Administration
- $4.6 billion for highway safety programs under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- $5.3 billion for motor carrier safety programs under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
- $60 billion for rail programs 

Year One Stimulus Provisions Include:  
- $83.1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2021 to ensure states, cities, tribes, territories, and transit agencies can administer programs, advance projects, and preserve jobs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis
- Allows for the funding to be available at 100% federal share to eliminate the need for a match in FY21.  
- $22 billion of the total FY21 amount is available for additional eligibility including state, local, transit agency, and tribal transportation agency salaries and operating expenses.
- Current Capital Investment Grant (CIG) projects are authorized to receive an increased federal cost share to help ensure projects can move forward despite a decrease in local and state revenues designated to cover the local cost share of projects.