News Releases

Today Republicans and Democrats in Senate Appropriations Committee work together to reject President Trump’s proposed cuts and instead invest in communities across the country

TRANSPORTATION: Funding for both the Capital Investment Program and for Sen. Murray-created grant program long known as TIGER, which helps communities complete infrastructure projects

RAIL SAFETY: Investments to help implement Positive Train Control for railroads facing a December 2018 deadline

HOUSING: $40 million to support housing vouchers for veterans and more than $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants, rejecting President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program  

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that a new spending bill includes significant investments in transportation, rail safety, and housing programs she championed during negotiations. A full list of the programs are below. After passing unanimously in the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill now moves to the full Senate.

“I’m proud to fight on behalf of communities and families across our state to make sure the federal government is investing in people and the programs that make a real difference in their lives,” Sen. Murray said. “What’s more, I applaud my Republican colleagues who joined with me to reject President Trump’s attempts to eliminate or severely cut investments such as homeless assistance grants or the Community Development Block Grants. At a time when so many of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet, now is the time for the federal government to step up, not back away from its responsibility to communities.”

 Transportation Highlights:

  • BUILD grant program (formerly known as TIGER): $1 billion, rejecting President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program

Since Sen. Murray created the TIGER program in 2009, it has awarded $5.6 billion to help facilitate 463 projects in every state in the country, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Of that total, Washington state has received $248 million to support 17 projects, including the Barker Road grade separation in Spokane Valley, Tacoma LINK expansion, a new ferry terminal in Mukilteo, the North Spokane Corridor, the Mercer Corridor Redevelopment project in Seattle, the South Park Bridge Replacement in King County, the West Vancouver Freight Access project at the Port of Vancouver, improvements to I-5 to relieve congestion around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and terminal modernization projects at the Ports of Seattle and Everett.

  • Capital Investment Grant Program: $2.55 billion, rejecting President Trump’s proposal to block new transit projects from receiving funding, including Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link Extension and Federal Way Link Extension, and Spokane Transit’s Central City Line.
  • Buses and Bus Facilities Program: $400 million in new funding to ensure transit agencies in Washington state and throughout the nation can support critical bus and bus facility investments and provide safe and reliable transit services.
  • Amtrak: $1.29 billion to support Amtrak’s National Network including long-distance routes, like the Coast Starlight and Empire Builder that run through Washington and which President Trump sought to terminate.
    • In response to the Amtrak Cascades derailment near DuPont, directs Amtrak to complete and implement speed limit action plans for all routes on its network until PTC is fully implemented and operational.
  • Rail Safety: several initiatives to support Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation, including:
    • $10 million for the Federal Railroad Administration to conduct oversight,
    • $50 million for Amtrak for railroad safety technology on state-supported routes like the Cascades, including PTC implementation, and
    • $255 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grants, with emphasis on supporting PTC implementation.

Builds on last month’s hearing during which Sen. Murray pressed federal and Amtrak Officials for updates on implementation of Positive Train Control, a life-saving train safety technology. During the hearing, Sen. Murray specifically cited the deadly train derailment near DuPont, Washington last December. More on the hearing HERE.

  • Crude-by-rail Safety Initiatives:
    • $16.5 million for the Automated Track Inspection Program,
    • $2.5 million for the Short Line Safety Institute for safety training for short line railroads transporting crude oil and ethanol, a program Sen. Murray helped create in 2014,
    • Supports tank car safety research and testing activities, and
    • Directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete a rulemaking to expand comprehensive oil spill response plan requirements to rail carriers no later than 45 days after enactment of this bill to better protect the safety of our communities and environment, and imposes a $100,000 per day fine upon failure to meet this deadline.
  • FAA Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment, led by Washington State University: $15 million.  
  • Contract Tower Program, which supports seven airports in Washington – Bellingham International, Felts Field (Spokane), Olympia, Renton, Tacoma Narrows, Walla Walla Regional, and Yakima: $168 million.
  • The bill prevents the FAA from eliminating the Contract Weather Observers program at any airport, including Spokane International Airport.
  • Commercial Space: $2 million to accelerate regulatory modernization to better support the nation’s growing commercial space industry.
  • Small Shipyards: $20 million for assistance to small shipyards grants to support infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades at small shipyards.
  • Pipeline Safety: $1.5 million for the Office of Pipeline Safety for Information Grants to Communities, which is critical to communities and organizations in Washington, like the Pipeline Safety Trust, working to help local governments understand where pipelines are located, implement programs to prepare first responders, and more.

Housing Highlights:

  • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Section 8 Contract Renewals: $20.52 billion
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): $3.3 billion, rejecting President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program
  • Homeless Assistance Grants: $2.612 billion, including:
    • $80 million for homeless youth; and
    • $50 million for rapid rehousing for domestic violence survivors
  • Family Unification Program: $20 million to support 2,500 new vouchers for youth aging out of foster care
  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program Formula Grants: $1.362 billion, rejecting President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program
  • Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH): $40 million
    • The HUD-VASH program combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the VA. Sen. Murray helped restart the HUD-VASH program in 2008, which she has continued to help fund every year since. Since 2008, more than 80,000 vouchers have been awarded in communities across Washington state and around the country.