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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis March 8, 2013
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APTA Urges Congress to Fully Restore MAP-21 Funds

As Passenger Transport went to press, the House approved, by a 265-151 vote, a continuing resolution that includes across-the-board reductions to federal departments, agencies, and programs, including those authorized under MAP-21—cuts that APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy strongly urged the Congress to restore in a written statement. His full statement follows:

“The American Public Transportation Association urges Congress in the strongest possible terms to fully fund the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) law that both Houses of Congress approved with overwhelming bipartisan support last year. We are disappointed that the U.S. House of ­Representatives approved an FY 2013 Full-Year Continuing Resolution (H.R. 933) that applies across-the-board reductions to MAP-21 funding levels. The House-passed bill would reduce federal funding to modernize public transportation systems and invest in bus facilities and vehicles by more than $117 million. It will also further reduce Federal Transit Administration administrative funding and research programs that were already cut under the sequester.

“The funding levels in MAP-21 are fully paid for with offsets included in the bill and do not increase the federal deficit. As the bill advances through the legislative process in the House and Senate, we urge Congress to preserve the levels agreed to in MAP-21 that will fund badly needed capital investments in public transit systems around the nation and leverage state and local investment. These dollars are critical to creating jobs and getting people back to work across the country.”

The continuing resolution is a stopgap measure to keep the federal government open past March 27, when current funding is set to expire, and locks in sequester cuts for the rest of the federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The bill has been sent to the Senate.

Chairs of three Senate committees with jurisdiction over transportation issues expressed their concern with the cuts in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Sens. Tim Johnson (D-SD), chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairman of the Committee on Environment and ­Public Works; and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said failing to uphold the bipartisan, bicameral agreement in MAP-21 means funding cuts of more than $785 million overall and the loss of 25,000 jobs over the year.

“Instead of preserving the ­funding levels authorized in MAP-21, this continuing resolution would apply an across-the-board reduction to the funding levels included in MAP-21 that would result in transportation spending levels even lower than those enacted in FY 2012, and in certain cases would apply drastic reductions to highway safety programs,” the three senators wrote.
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