Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Federal Funding

Senate Unlikely to Challenge House Cuts to MAP-21 Budget

If you were hoping the Senate would swoop in and save the day after the House voted to cut $785 million from the transportation budget, you might be disappointed. Politico's Burgess Everett reports that Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) isn't planning to present an alternative transportation budget proposal. Mikulski is considering rolling several appropriations bills into a "hybrid" continuing resolution bill, but transportation isn't one of them.

##http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/media/photogallery/12-5-2012-2.cfm##Sen. Barbara Mikulski## isn't planning to introduce a transportation budget to compete with the one the House passed.

Why not include transportation in her CR? Sounds like she thought transportation was just too controversial. "Some people in the House don't like bills that help transportation, some don't like high speed rails, some don't like a lot of things," she told Politico. So what are the non-controversial items she's planning to work on? "Agriculture, commerce-justice-science, homeland security, defense and military construction," says Everett.

Meanwhile, Everett also reports that House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Latham (R-IA) is trying to make sure the Democrats don't try any funny stuff. Since Congress can never agree on a budget anymore, they keep passing the previous year's budget and agreeing not to make too many changes, because arguments over the changes will gum up the works.

Of course, the Republicans just made a change not just to the previous year's budget but to the delicate compromise of the transportation bill. But if the Democrats try to just start fresh and pass a real budget for the rest of FY 2013, Latham has a poison pill in store for them: another ban on funding California high-speed rail. No matter: as Everett reports, "California doesn’t need any money for two years and was unlikely to get any federal help in the last six months of this year anyway."

In any event, no one seems to have much appetite for a real budget fight anyway. They fight enough over these "easy" CRs.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Monday’s Headlines Go Through Basic Training

An NYU study looks into why the U.S. is lagging behind on high-speed rail, and one transportation expert ponders the impact on growth.

July 15, 2024

Sustainable Transportation Advocates Need to Talk About Sustainable Urban Design

A new book hopes to act as a "magic decoder ring" to our built environment — and a powerful tool to understand how sustainable transportation networks can fit within them.

July 15, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Take Me to the River

Politico reports that the Biden administration is investing $2.5 billion in updating aging Mississippi River locks and dams like this one in Iowa. Transporting freight by barge produces less emissions than trucks or even rail.

July 12, 2024

Friday Video: Take a Spin on Boston’s Electric Cargo Bike Share

Can't afford a $7,000 Urban Arrow cargo e-bike ? In Boston, you can now rent one for just a few bucks.

July 12, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Electrify the Rails

Adrianna Rizzo of Californians for Electric Rail on California's looming lobbyist-fueled hydrogen train mistake: "We’re locking in low service for potentially decades."

July 11, 2024
See all posts