Congressional Consideration of FY 2014 Transportation Appropriations Stalled
The congressional appropriations process has all but collapsed this year as both the House and Senate failed to move legislation that would have funded the Department of Transportation and other agencies during FY 2014. The so-called “THUD” bill was the first that the House tried to move that provided less than was appropriated for programs under the bill in FY 2013. Members were reluctant to vote for a bill with the reduced spending limits adopted earlier this year in the House-passed budget resolution. In the Senate, leaders failed to get the 60 votes needed to close debate prior to the August recess, as Republicans opposed the higher spending levels in the Senate bill.
The failure to move the THUD bill also means the loss of the vehicle Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) was going to use for an amendment to prohibit FMCSA from denying a hazardous materials safety permit to carriers based on the out-of-service disqualifications. IME has been working with the congressman for opportunities to fix this flawed program.
With approximately ten working days left on the congressional calendar before the end of the fiscal year, Congress will have to turn attention to passing a continuing resolution (CR) to ensure that there is no shutdown of the government on October 1st. “Continuing Resolutions” are based on the priorities of the prior year, and efforts will be made to limit the duration of the CR. The inability to move appropriations bills under regular order is a great disappointment prompting calls from both parties for a new budget deal.