House Democrats Release “Moving Forward Framework”
House Democrats today released a framework for infrastructure investments (“Moving Forward Framework”) that includes transportation reauthorization, broadband, aviation, wastewater, and drinking water. The total investment contained in the package is $760 billion over five years (see the chart at the bottom for a breakdown of how these funds are distributed by program).
Regarding transportation reauthorization, today’s framework does not contain much detail but provides broad outlines of what to expect when the full reauthorization bill is released in a couple of months. Thematically, the framework focuses on state of good repair, fossil fuels and carbon emissions, and resilience. There is also a lengthy session that contemplates how the legislation will revamp many of the existing core formula programs (see pages 3-4 of the framework document). It is within this section that the most relevant changes may occur for transportation planning and project implementation.
A couple of examples:
- Expands Local Control – Expands decision-making over Federal funds to other levels of government and provides additional authority to metropolitan planning organizations that demonstrate the capacity to administer Federal funds. Amends the suballocation process to ensure mid-sized communities receive a portion of program funds.
- Modernizes Project Planning – Requires States and MPOs to prioritize transportation access and to consider during the planning process all system users, job access, connections to housing, and creation of transportation options in underserved communities.
Other relevant sections of interest to regions focus on greater investment in regionally-significant projects; alternative fuel infrastructure; and transit and rail investments. Outside of the transportation section, there is focus on broadband deployment, increased water resources projects through the Army Corps of Engineers, clean water resources, and brownfields.
Whether this will move as one large package or separated into pieces is unclear at this time, as is the timing and, perhaps most importantly, funding. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicated today that action will not happen in the very near term, and T&I committee staff yesterday indicated it will be at least March before we see a reauthorization bill draft released. Though this was released as a Democrat-only proposal, it is hopeful to note that T&I Committee Republicans issued a release indicating their willingness to work together on getting a package done.
Total Investment Levels
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Highway and Transit Programs $434B
- Transformative Highway Investments $319B
- Transformative Transit Investments $105B
- Transformative Safety Investments $10B
Rail Transportation $55B
- Transformative Rail Investments $55B
Airport and Airway Infrastructure $30B
- Transformative Airport Investments $30B
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund $19.7B
Water Resources $10B
- Transformative Water Resources Investments $7B
- Transformative Inland Waterways Investments $3B
Clean Water $50.5B
- Transformative Water Investments $47.1B
- Clean Water State Revolving Funding Investment $40B
- State Clean Water Compliance Assistance $1.5B
- Clean Water Act Grant Program Investments $5.6B
- Transformative Regional Investments $3.4B
Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy and Commerce Committees (joint jurisdiction)
Brownfields Restoration and Reinvestment $2.7B
Energy and Commerce Committee
Clean Drinking Water and Clean Energy $59.7B
- Transformative Drinking Water Investments $25.4B
- Transformative Clean Energy Investments $34.3B
Broadband and Communications $98B
- Transformative Broadband Investments $86B
- Public Safety Communications Investments $12B
Questions? Contact Erich Zimmermann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.618.5697.