Senators Introduce Amtrak Bill; Homeland Funding and STB Reauthorization Advance

June 19, 2015

Since yesterday morning’s regular issue of Eno Transportation Weekly came out, three important things have happened.

First. Yesterday evening, Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a bipartisan bill reauthorizing federal passenger rail programs. The bill is S. 1626, a summary of the bill from its sponsors is here, and the text of the bill is here. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hopes to mark up the bill next week, perhaps on Thursday June 25.

The Senate bill would authorize the appropriation of $9 billion for passenger rail programs over the next four years, as shown below.

The authorizations under the Senate bill are significantly more generous than those under the House-passed companion bill, as shown below.

We will have more analysis of the bill itself next week.

Second. The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved its version of the fiscal year 2016 bill funding the Department of Homeland Security. While we will have more analysis next week, the committee report is here and we have prepared our own three-page funding table for transportation-related accounts here.

Third. Before adjourning yesterday evening, the Senate passed S. 808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, by unanimous consent. The Senate’s action and a copy of the bill as passed are here.

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