2009 Transportation Weekly Archive Index

2009 Transportation Weekly Archive


January 2009

  • January 13, 2009 issue – CBO releases dismal new budget forecast; Stimulus bill markup delayed; California crisis draws tax vs. user fee distinction; LaHood confirmation hearing set for tomorrow; House names new members to most committees.
  • January 15, 2009 update – House Appropriations releases executive summary of proposed stimulus bill.
  • January 16, 2009 update – Full details of draft House stimulus bill.
  • January 21, 2009 issue – New CBO analysis says House stimulus bill will spend much more slowly than advertised; Outgoing Bush FTA signs $2.5 billion in FFGAs; LaHood confirmation hearing rescheduled; HTF balances keep dropping.
  • January 22, 2009 update – House Appropriations Committee approves draft stimulus bill.
  • January 26, 2009 update – Senate prepares for stimulus committee markup.
  • January 27, 2009 issue – Senate committees marking up stimulus plan today; House stimulus bill moves forward amidst CBO skepticism; LaHood sworn in as transportation secretary; Senators get new committee assignments; Construction commodity prices drop again in December.
  • January 27, 2009 update – House prepares to consider stimulus amendments.


February 2009

  • February 3, 2009 issue – Senate debating increases to stimulus bill; House passes stimulus bill after adding additional $3 billion for transit; House postpones consideration of omnibus appropriations; House leaders debating timetable for surface reauthorization bill.
  • February 4, 2009 update – Senate amendment status on stimulus bill.
  • February 5, 2009 update – Senate amendment status on stimulus bill.
  • February 5, 2009 update #2 – Senate to resume stimulus bill tomorrow.
  • February 6, 2009 update – Senate amendment status on stimulus bill.
  • February 7, 2009 update – Senate set for Monday vote on stimulus bill after compromise reached.
  • February 10, 2009 issue – Stimulus set to pass Senate with 61 votes; FAA reauthorization bill re-introduced in House; Comparison of House and Senate stimulus bills; GAO criticizes methodology of TSA study on cost-effectiveness of private screeners; House passes bill to improve airline flight crew eligibility under FMLA.
  • February 10, 2009 update – Stimulus bill goes to House-Senate conference.
  • February 11, 2009 update – $789.5 billion stimulus bill in the works.
  • February 12, 2009 update – Tentative stimulus deal has roughly $48 billion for U.S. DOT.
  • February 12, 2009 update #2 – Stimulus conference report filed; House vote Friday.
  • February 13, 2009 update – House passes stimulus conference report.
  • February 17, 2009 issue – President to sign stimulus bill today; Omnibus FY09 appropriations due next week; Full summary of all transportation and public works stimulus provisions; GAO: SAFETEA-LU “megaprojects” spend slowly.
  • February 24, 2009 issue – Final FY09 spending unveiled with $71.5 billion for USDOT; White House rejects VMT fee as financing mechanism for highways; Omnibus bill carries 1,293 DOT earmarks totaling $2.912 billion; Omnibus bill earmarks all new start money; Omnibus bill provides $5.4 billion for USACE water program.


March 2009

  • March 3, 2009 issue – Obama budget proposes 2.5% increase for USDOT; Blue-ribbon panel recommends tax hike, eventual VMT fee; President proposes ending contract authority and giving appropriations full control of HTF; Bipartisan Congressional letter opposing President’s proposed budget changes for HTF; FHWA apportions highway and bridge stimulus money.
  • March 11, 2009 issue – House panel OKs 3-year FAA reauthorization; Senate panel approves railroad antitrust legislation; Senate approves FY09 omnibus appropriations; House T&I approves water SRF bill; Obama nominates Kienitz, Gresham to senior USDOT positions; Former T&I aide indicted by grand jury; Financing Commission recommendations in the short term.
  • March 24, 2009 issue – CBO says Obama FY10 budget adds $4.8 trillion in debt; New analysis reveals extent of HTF woes; Letter to House members from transportation chairmen on HTF solvency; Obama nominates Rivkin, Szabo to senior DOT posts; Six-month FAA extension sent to White House; VMT dropped again in January; Mexico details tariffs in retaliation for Dorgan amendment.
  • March 25, 2009 update – House Budget chairman unveils FY10 budget plan.
  • March 27, 2009 update – House and Senate chambers expected to consider budget blueprints next week.


April 2009

  • April 1, 2009 issue – The legendary “April Fool’s” issue cover; House and Senate budgets track Obama budget on outlays and discretionary spending; Aviation trust fund outlook tight through 2013; Obama nominates Babbitt to lead FAA; FHWA clarifies 120-day stimulus redistribution rules; DOT reaches peak acronym madness with “TIGGER” grants; FHWA releases full FY09 highway obligation limitation.
  • April 16, 2009 issue – Obama transportation team taking shape with Porcari, Mendez, Rogoff nominations; House panel requests highway bill project (earmark) applications; New data shows HTF finances worse than last year; House & Senate FY10 budgets similar on transportation funding; House hearing explores high costs of high-speed rail; FEMA issues port, transit, rail, bus trucking security grants.
  • April 23, 2009 issue – White House announces high-speed rail project application plan; LaHood warns states against stimulus diversion; February VMT numbers rebound slightly; USDOT announces initial round of staff appointments; Full text of FY09 appropriations conference report now in print: FHWA implements $3.15 billion highway rescission.
  • April 29, 2009 issue – Congress to vote on final $3 trillion FY10 budget; Oberstar outlines ambitious highway bill schedule; “Big 8” highway legislators meet on reauthorization bill; Oberstar certain HTF will not go broke again; AASHTO/APTA announce “Bottom Line” funding needs; New GAO study sounds pessimistic note on aviation financing; CBO issues cost estimate for House FAA reauthorization bill; Senate panel holds hearings on 5 DOT nominees.


May 2009

  • May 6, 2009 issue – Oberstar outlines plan for surface reauthorization bill; Details of Obama FY10 budget due out tomorrow; Pictures of Oberstar’s handwritten outline for the surface bill; Highway program consolidation under Oberstar plan; Highway bill timing – will 2009 be more like 1991, or 1982?; Specter defection = GOP subcommittee changes; Sen. Hutchison introduces highway opt-out legislation; Senate confirms five USDOT nominees.
  • May 11, 2009 issue – Obama proposes $73.25 billion USDOT budget for FY10; T&I leaders facing resistance to gas tax hike; FY10 new start request; White House’s DOT budget will cause major headaches for appropriators; OMB projects $8.6 billion FY10 HTF shortfall if no steps taken; House subcommittee approves TSA reauthorization bill; Ways and Means holds aviation trust fund hearing.
  • May 20, 2009 issue – FAA, TSA bills on House floor this week; DOT prepares for next HTF default; DOT sets Sept. 15 deadline for TIGER grant applications; Rockefeller, Lautenberg introduce plan for National Surface Policy; Budget data shows multi-year spending assumptions; White House HTF receipt projections rosier than Congress’s; DOT cancels plan to auction NYC airport slots; House members file 6,800+ earmark requests for highway bill; White House announces CAFE standard increases; Hurley withdraws as NHTSA nominee; FY10 budget retains FAA user fee proposal without enthusiasm.
  • May 21, 2009 update – House passes FAA reauthorization bill.
  • May 26, 2009 issue – House passes FAA reauthorization; Rail antitrust bill faces some Democratic opposition; House earmark request totals are 6,868 projects totaling $136.3 billion; Senate confirms 3 more DOT nominees; TSA reauthorization to go to House floor next week.


June 2009

  • June 3, 2009 issue – Senate gives up on rail antitrust bill; Oberstar may unveil highway reauthorization plan next week; Supplemental appropriations conference committee to address EAS and transit; Obama names Trottenberg Asst SecDOT for Policy; Senators admit second HTF bailout needed soon; Postponed TSA reauthorization goes to House floor next week;
  • June 8, 2009 issue – FY10 appropriations process starts this week; White House wants next HTF bailout to be paid for; Will House T&I act on cap-and-trade bill?; Oberstar may unveil highway bill in two weeks; Teamsters, safety groups oppose Obama’s FMCSA nominee; T&I marks up maritime bills; House passes bipartisan TSA reauthorization bill.
  • June 16, 2009 issue – Oberstar to unveil surface blueprint this week; FHWA firms up plans for next HTF default; House appropriators make initial FY10 budget allocations which include infrastructure bank funding; House appropriators release FY10 bill schedule; Obama nominates NTSB chair, FMC member; House Appropriations approves $44 billion DHS spending bill; House Judiciary cancels markup of rail antitrust bill; Mass transit operating assistance proviso stays in supplemental appropriations bill; Details of $8.7 billion SAFETEA-LU highway rescission become clear; Senate Commerce holds aviation safety oversight hearing.
  • June 18, 2009 supplement – Oberstar to unveil blueprint for $450 billion surface bill but Obama Administration wants 18-month flat-line extension instead.
  • June 23, 2009 issue – House highway bill text released and subcommittee markup scheduled; Senate Appropriations approves $44.3 billion DHS spending bill; Section-by-section summary of House highway bill; Senate Appropriations issues 302(b) budget allocations for FY10; White House faces pushback against 18-month HTF extension; FRA issues selection criteria for $8 billion in rail stimulus funding.
  • June 24, 2009 update – House subcommittee approves highway bill.
  • June 30, 2009 issue – House subcommittee OK’s surface bill but future action in doubt; White House scales back Infrastructure Bank request; House passes FY10 DHS appropriations bill; Grassley says tax dodges helped contribute to DC metro fatalities; House subcommittee approves FY10 USACE water budget; Obama nominates NTSB member; Senate Commerce hopes to move FAA bill in July; Hearings explore HTF revenue options; GAO says SAFETEA-LU changes in RABA, Byrd Test helped cause HTF default.


July 2009

  • July 8, 2009 issue – July will be pivotal month for surface bill; Administration releases infrastructure bank plan; Obama Administration principles for surface transportation extension; Obama nominates Bertram, Elliott; House FY10 DOT appropriations set for markup; FHWA releases $202 million in ER highway money; DOT adds Vegas to SoCal to HSR eligibility list
  • July 14, 2009 issue – High-speed rail is big winner in House DOT bill; Senate EPW marking 18-month HTF extension; Details of House THUD appropriations for FY10; House Science Committee to mark up highway R&D bill; Senate Commerce OK’s Coast Guard, MARAD bills; House panel approves TSA unionization bill; Senate confirms Mendez and Obama nominates Kurland; DOT approves Continental membership to STAR Alliance; HTF HA balance drops to $4.4 billion; Senate passes FY10 Homeland appropriations; House and Senate moving Corps funding bills.
  • July 15, 2009 supplement – detailed table for House DOT appropriations subcommittee-reported bill for FY10.
  • July 17, 2009 update – House Appropriations Committee approves FY10 DOT appropriations bill.
  • July 21, 2009 issue – House panel approves $76.6 billion for USDOT; Senate panel to mark up $34.6 billion FAA authorization; Section-by-section summary of Senate FAA reauthorization bill; Senate committees assembling 18-month highway bill; House passes FY10 Corps water appropriations; House Science panel marks up highway research title; States file $103 billion in high-speed rail project requests.
  • July 28, 2009 issue – House passes FY10 DOT appropriations; House may combine small HTF bailout with other legislation; Senate confirms three transpo nominees; Senate Commerce approves two-year FAA bill.
  • July 28, 2009 update – House HTF bailout amount set at $5 billion.
  • July 29, 2009 update – House HTF bailout amount rising from $5 billion to $7 billion.
  • July 29, 2009 update #2 – House passes $7 billion HTF bailout; Senate subcommittee approves FY10 DOT appropriations.
  • July 29, 2009 update #3 – Senate to take up HTF bailout on July 30.
  • July 30, 2009 update – Senate Appropriations Committee approves FY10 USDOT spending.


August 2009

  • August 3, 2009 issue – Details of Senate FY10 DOT appropriations bill; $7 billion HTF bailout cleared for White House; Senate bill puts off today’s spending until tomorrow; House T&I approves new aviation safety legislation; Senate passes FY10 Corps appropriations; House votes an extra $2 billion for “cash for clunkers,” Ways and Means examines future HTF revenue options.
  • August 19, 2009 issue – History of transportation trust funds pt 1 (theory of trust funds and examples through 1955, ending with House rejection of the Clay Commission and other plans in July 1955).


September 2009

  • September 2, 2009 issue – History of transportation trust funds pt 2 (1956 establishment of the HTF in 1956; establishment of the AATF in 1969-1970; the struggle to eventually create the Mass Transit Account); New deficit forecasts may dominate future legislative debates; CBO and OMB release new HTF estimates.
  • September 9, 2009 issue – Congress kicks off hectic September; History of transportation trust funds pt 3 (IWTF and HMTF); Duration of highway extension must be settled soon; Oberstar explores bonding to pay for highway and transit spending; “Pre-conference” of FY10 DOT appropriations has begun; FAA extension needed by Sept. 30.
  • September 15, 2009 issue – Senate begins floor debate on FY10 DOT appropriations; Senate may soon take up 18-month highway extension fixing SAFETEA-LU rescission.
  • September 16, 2009 update – Senate to vote on Transportation-HUD appropriations bill tomorrow.
  • September 17, 2009 update – Senate passes FY10 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill.
  • September 23, 2009 issue – Surface and aviation extension bills entwined with appropriations CR; Senate passes Transportation-HUD appropriations; Highway extensions would extend earmarks for VIPs; Three-month FAA extension pending in House; Higher CAFE standards to cost HTF $11 billion; House Judiciary approves railroad antitrust bill.
  • September 23, 2009 update – Three-month HTF extension hits snag in House.
  • September 24, 2009 update – Move to cancel $8.7 billion highway rescission defeated.
  • September 29, 2009 issue – CR likely to fund HTF programs as surface extension stalls and $8.7 billion rescission likely to take effect; T&I passes Coast Guard authorization bill; Open letter from highway stakeholders on transportation investment; Rescissions make large difference in highway funding rates under CR; Transportation-HUD appropriations still not on fast track; Senate appropriations bills moving forward after earmark accord reached.
  • September 29, 2009 update – Senate leaders explore possible 3-month highway extension.
  • September 30, 2009 update – Stage set for passage of CR; no deal yet on surface extension.
  • September 30, 2009 update #2 – Senate clears CR for White House; Highway rescission repeal may get Senate vote tonight.
  • September 30, 2009 update #3 – Senate unable to pass repeal of highway rescission.


October 2009

  • October 1, 2009 update – $8.7 billion highway rescission takes effect.
  • October 7, 2009 issue – Surface programs default to 1-month extension in CR; TIGER grant applications top $56 billion; Details of $8.7 billion highway rescission by program and by state.
  • October 14, 2009 issue – FHWA gives out CR highway funds to states; FY10 DHS appropriations conference report ready for a vote; Senate cap-and-trade bill would make funds available for transit; Editorial – Cap-and-trade revenues make sense for transit funding.
  • October 20, 2009 issue – Surface bill seen as possible second stimulus, but huge cost issues remain; 18-month HTF extension may get Senate floor debate; Coast Guard bill advancing through House; FY10 Homeland appropriations cleared for White House; FY10 Transportation-HUD appropriations still stalled; FY10 Energy and Water appropriations cleared for White House; House hearing examines high-speed rail program; Final FY 2009 deficit numbers.
  • October 23, 2009 update – Senate may move six-month HTF extension.
  • October 27, 2009 issue – Senate leaders trying to pass $39.5 billion HTF extension to April 30, 2010; House passes Coast Guard authorization bill; FY10 DOT appropriations conference still on hold; 118 House members ask Obama to oppose new aviation user fees; Highway contract authority rescission disproportionately harms Nevada; Correction: DeFazio plan would only tax gasoline and diesel, not crude oil.
  • October 28, 2010 update – New CR will run to December 18; No movement on surface extension.


November 2009

  • November 3, 2009 issue – Appropriators could wrap up by Thanksgiving; 6-month surface extension on Senate floor this week; History of House “closed rule” on tax bills; FMCSA agrees to rewrite hours of service rule; NMB proposes RLA rule change; Boycott likely to postpone cap-and-trade markup; House and Senate hold hearings on distracted driving.
  • November 10, 2009 issue – Obama considering more funding for highways as “Stimulus II” rumors continue; FY10 appropraitions negotiations continue to make progress; Health care bill could eat up Senate floor through January; Where did the FY09 federal budget deficit come from?; Senate confirms Ferro and Quarterman but 3 more DOT posts still vacant; T&I abruptly cancels Hazmat markup.
  • November 17, 2009 issue – DOT to propose first federal transit safety regulations; Evolving federal role in transit safety; House reschedules hazmat safety markup; Section-by-section summary of House hazmat bill; DOT appropriations/surface extension/FAA update; Sen. Gregg explains highway bill opposition; FHWA distributes funds to states under CR.


December 2009

  • December 1, 2009 issue – Democratic leaders debating second, “Jobs Stimulus” bill; House T&I approves hazmat safety bill; Oberstar-Obey plan for 2 years of GF support for HTF.
  • December 7, 2009 update – Movement on year-end wrap-up.
  • December 9, 2009 issue – Conferees agree on $77 billion FY10 DOT budget; House leaders considering $22 billion transportation stimulus; Obama nominates Strickland, Matsuda and Huerta; FTA making $280 million in streetcar grants to sustainable communities; FY10 budget deficit 48 percent worse than FY09; Details of Oberstar-Obey 2-year surface reauthorization; Congress may consider temporary waiver of state matching share.
  • December 15, 2009 update – House endgame now a two-bill strategy (defense/debt now; stimulus next year)
  • December 16, 2009 issue – House proposes an additional $37 billion in DOT stimulus; House and Senate approve FY10 omnibus appropriations; Debt limit questions and answers; Another 3-month FAA extension sent to White House; Senate Commerce marking up STB reauthorization bill.
  • December 22, 2009 issue – House passes second stimulus by narrow vote; Senate panel approves STB reauthorization bill; Enrollment snafu makes guns-on-Amtrak provision unworkable; Stimulus II had no markup and little available information; Stimulus II uses questionable TARP offset; Stimulus II highway and bridge funds nearly identical to Stimulus I, Stimulus II would shift transit funding emphasis to NY, DC, CA, IL, MA.
  • December 24, 2009 update – Senate adjourns for the year.

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