MIPRC asks Midwest's U.S. Senators to Protect Passenger Rail Funding in FY 2017 Appropriations
MIPRC has sent a letter to all U.S. Senators representing Midwestern states, asking them to strongly support and protect passenger rail-related appropriations when the FY 2017 transportation appropriations bill (S. 2844) is considered on the Senate floor.
As recommended by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), the Senate Appropriations Committee passed S. 2844, the FY 2017 THUD appropriations bill, earlier this month. It may be considered on the Senate floor as early as this week.
MIPRC's letter asks Midwestern U.S. Senators to strongly support all of the passenger rail-related appropriations contained within the THUD appropriations legislation passed by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, including:
- Amtrak ($1.075 billion for the National Network, including up to $2 million for use of the State-Supported Route Committee; and $345 million for the NEC);
- Appropriations for all three of the new FAST Act passenger rail-related grant programs: Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Grants (CRISI) at $50 million; Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair at $20 Million; and Restoration & Enhancement Grants at $15 million; and
- TIGER (National Infrastructure Investments) at $525 million.
The FAST Act authorized a total of $350.5 million for the three new passenger rail grant programs in FY 2017. MIPRC would like to see Congress move towards full funding of all the passenger rail-related provisions at the authorized levels within the FAST Act, but we understand the current fiscal constraints facing FY 2017 appropriations. We appreciate the Senate subcommittee's work this year to provide some funding for each of the three programs, and ask that the $85 million allocated to these programs this fiscal year, and the division of allocation, be strongly protected.