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CONGRESS PASSES CR THAT PROVIDES FUNDING FOR DOT AND FMCSA AT 2009 LEVELS TO OCTOBER 31ST AND EXTENDS SAFETEA-LU FOR ONE MONTH AS WELL

CONGRESS PASSES CR THAT PROVIDES FUNDING FOR DOT AND FMCSA AT 2009 LEVELS TO OCTOBER 31ST AND EXTENDS SAFETEA-LU FOR ONE MONTH AS WELL

Last night, just hours before the end of the 2009 Fiscal Year, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds most agencies of the Federal Government, including DOT, through October 31st at 2009 levels.

However, because of budget rules and recessions, some of which were actually put in place in SAFETEA-LU at the time it passed in August of 2005 but not to take effect until the day the law expires, the funding levels provided for in the CR will actually be lower than the 2009 levels. FMCSA is impacted to the tune of $133 million on an annual basis. One-twelfth of that amount will affect October’s allocations. It is not known at this point if there may be some leeway allowing affected agencies to use previously unspent monies to help offset this.

To put this into perspective, the highway programs will receive $11.9 billion less on annual basis.

The good news is that such reductions may be only temporary. When Congress passes the regular 2010 DOT Appropriations bill and when Congress passes a free-standing three-month extension of SAFETEA-LU, it may take the opportunity to try and restore many of the cuts. There is a reasonable chance that Congress will act on both measures before October 31.

We will keep you advised.