Murray, Bond Voice Bi-Partisan Support for Transportation and Housing Increases in Joint Funding Resolution

Jan 30 2007

Chair and Ranking Member of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee applaud critical exemptions to funding freezes

(Washington D.C) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Kit Bond (R- MO) today voiced their support for the inclusion of funding increases in the Fiscal Year 2007 Joint Funding Resolution for programs overseen by the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee. Senator Murray and Senator Bond are the Chair and Ranking Member of that subcommittee respectively. While the resolution freezes most programs at their fiscal Year 2006 levels, a number of exceptions for at-risk programs covered by THUD have been made. Those exceptions include critical funds for Section 8 housing assistance, federal highway and transit construction, and critical safety activities at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Railroad Administration and other DOT agencies.

"The Joint Funding Resolution required many difficult and painful compromises, and I am pleased that we were able to help soften the impact on critical housing and transportation investments," said Senator Murray. "I appreciate that many of the programs that I fight for on the THUD Committee were recognized as deserving of funding increases. These increases mean that as we move forward, jobs will be saved, road improvements will be made, safety will be maintained, and some of our nation's most vulnerable residents will keep a roof over their heads."

"Despite the numerous and deserving funding needs, I believe the Joint Resolution addresses the highest priorities under the THUD subcommittee and fulfills our commitments to states and localities for highway infrastructure and affordable housing," said Senator Bond.

The new FY 2007 Joint Funding Resolution was introduced in the House last night and is expected to be debated in the House tomorrow. The total funding in the resolution will remain below budgetary cap levels set last year. Additional cost savings that were re-invested in the bill were realized from the elimination of earmarks and selective cuts. The bill is not expected to reach the Senate until February. The bill was the product of negotiations between the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

Under THUD Subcommittee jurisdiction, increased funding has been included in the following areas (funding increase included in parenthesis):

  • Air traffic control and aviation safety ($227 million)

  • Rail safety and pipeline inspectors ($10 million)M

  • Federal highway bill formula funding ($3.4 billion)

  • Federal transit funding for new projects ($125 million)

  • Section 8 Assisted Housing ($1.44 billion)

  • Public Housing Operating Fund ($300 million)

  • Homeless Assistance Grants ($115 million)