Federal Highway Administration funding



Congress passes Continuing Appropriations Act with two major rescissions of funding

From Jeff Paniati, FHWA, April 15, 2011
Approved Appropriations Act Information



arrowSee spreadsheet of PROJECTS SUBJECT TO RESCISSION PER SECTIONS 2210 - 2212 OF H.R. 1473


This year has been a challenging one in managing our program through a number of authorization extensions and continuing resolutions. Last month, we got authorization legislation through the end of the fiscal year and today, we also have appropriations legislation through the end of FY 2011. Last Friday President Obama and Congressional leaders reached a handshake agreement funding levels and deficit reduction for FY 2011and yesterday both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed a bill that reflects that agreement. The President will sign the bill into law today. I want to share information with you on the appropriations act.

I want to share the approved appropriations act information with you and ask that you provide this information to our State partners.

The obligation limitation on the Federal-aid Highway Program and the limitation on our administrative expenses will be the same as in FY 2010, $41,107,000,000 and $413,533,000, respectively. However, our programs were not untouched by the deficit reduction efforts, as there are two rescissions in the Act.

The first is a rescission of $2.5 billion from unobligated balances of apportioned programs. The details of the rescission are described in the attached summary and an estimate of the impact on each State is also attached. As is often the case, safety programs and the Surface Transportation Program subject to sub-allocation are not subject to the rescission. States will have complete flexibility in how to take the rescission within the programs subject to the rescission and can begin planning for how to take the rescission now, before the CFO’s office issues a rescission notice.

The second rescission is of unobligated balances of older earmarks from prior authorization acts. For the earmarks shown from ISTEA and earlier authorization acts, the rescission is effective immediately upon enactment. For TEA-21 High Priority Projects, the rescission will be of unobligated balances for projects for which less than 10 percent of the amount authorized for the project has been obligated as of September 30, 2011. If States wish to make use of the TEA-21 High Priority Project funds that are at risk, they still have some time to do so. You will need to work with the States so that they are able to meet the legal obligation of those funds before the deadline.


Status—A bill that captures the “handshake agreement” made last Friday on the full year appropriations for FY 2011 has been passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate on April 14, 2011. The President is expected to sign it promptly—before the previous continuing resolution expires at midnight on April 15, 2011.


• Federal Highway Administration obligation limitation and limitation on administrative expenses are continued at the FY 2010 level.

• There are no earmarks of FY 2011 funds in the Act.

• Rescission of $2.5 billion of funds apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, excluding safety programs and Surface Transportation Program funds suballocated to areas based on population). States are to be given maximum flexibility in applying the rescission.

• Immediate rescission of unobligated balances of a number of authorization act earmarks from ISTEA and prior acts. Also a rescission of TEA-21 High Priority Project unobligated balances if less than 10% of the funds authorized for the project remain unobligated as of September 30, 2011.

Division B – Full-Year Continuing Appropriations, 2011

• The CR would extend the provisions of the FY 2010 DOT Appropriations Act (and other listed appropriation acts) through September 30, 2011: This includes the Federal-aid Highway Program obligation limitation ($41,107,000,000) and the limitation on FHWA administrative expenses ($413,533,000). §1101

• Unless otherwise specified, the same requirements, authorities, conditions, limitations, and other provisions of the FY 2010 Appropriations continue to apply through September 30, 2011. No funds under this Act may be used to initiate or resume any activity that was prohibited during FY 2010. §§ 1104, 1105

• Earmarks in the FY 2010 Appropriations Act, Committee Reports, or the Joint Explanatory Statement in the Conference Report shall have no effect for the FY 2011 funds. This includes the earmarks of DOT discretionary program funds by the FY 2010 Act. §§ 1111, 2230

• An across-the-board cut of rescission equal to 0.2% of the budget authority provided by Division B will be made. This does not apply to FHWA obligation limitations set by the Act.

Exceptions of Interest to FHWA

• National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER II) --$528,000,000 (less the 0.2% across-the-board cut) is appropriated for FY 2011 for OST’s TIGER II program. However, none of these funds are available for planning grants. Up to $35 million had been made available for planning grants in FY 2010). §2202

Not extended.-- Appropriations for the following are not extended and thus receive no NEW funds in FY 2011: The FY 2010 funds remain available:
• Surface Transportation Priorities (earmarks). §2209
• Highway Infrastructure (the $650M in the 2010 act for additional formula funds to be used like STP funds). § 2208


• Rescission of apportioned contract authority (§2207).--$2.5 billion of unobligated balances of funds apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, United State Code are rescinded. The rescission does not apply to funds apportioned for safety programs or for Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds subject to suballocation based on population. States are to be given maximum flexibility in determining from which applicable program(s) their funds are rescinded.

Specifically the programs exempted from the rescissions are:

• Rail-Highway Crossings Program
• Highway Safety Improvement Program
• Safety setaside under the STP prior to enactment of SAFETEA-LU
• NHTSA’s Safety Incentives to Prevent Operation of Motor Vehicles by Intoxicated Persons (pre-SAFETEA-LU)
• The portion of the STP that is subject to suballocation based on population.

Because the rescission is limited to funds apportioned under chapter 1 of title 23, the following apportioned programs are not subject to rescission: Appalachian Development Highway System, Safe Routes to School, and the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program.

The CFO’s Office has prepared an estimate of the distribution among the States of the $2.5 billion rescission. As indicated in the attached table, the State-by-State rescission amounts shown are only estimates and are subject to change.  In particular, the estimated distribution of the rescission among the States is based on FY 2011 apportionments for the programs subject to rescission.  The FY 2011 apportionment calculations will be amended once final determinations are made for the “Additional Funds” provision of the Extension Act

• Rescission of earmarked funds (§§2210, 2211, 2212).—All remaining unobligated balances are rescinded for the following
• Bridges on Federal Dams (23 USC 320)
• Acceleration of Bridges (§147 of PL 95-599)
• Woodrow Wilson Bridge (the Federally owned bridge that has since been replaced) (§9(c) of PL 97-134)
• Demo and Priority Projects (§149 of PL 100-17)
• Under ISTEA (PL 102-240)--
• Alaska Highway (§1006)
• Miscellaneous Highway Projects (§1069)
• High Cost Bridge Projects (§1103)
• Congestion Relief Projects (§1104)
• High Priority Corridors on the National Highway System (§1105)
• Rural Access Projects (§1106(a))
• Urban Access and Mobility Projects (§1106(b))
• Innovative Projects (§1107)
• Intermodal Projects (§1108)
• Applied Research (§6005)
• Border Crossings (§ 6015)
• National Center for Advanced Technology (§6023)
• Under TEA-21(PL 105-178) – High Priority Projects under section 1602 for which less than 10% of the amount authorized for the project has been obligated as of September 30, 2011.
• Under SAFETEA-LU (PL 109-59), the HPP funds that weren’t earmarked (about $8 million)

The CFO’s Office has prepared the attached list of the affected earmarked projects based on data available through January 31, 2011. Before executing the rescission, this would be updated to reflect the status on the date of enactment of the Act.


arrowSee spreadsheet of PROJECTS SUBJECT TO RESCISSION PER SECTIONS 2210 - 2212 OF H.R. 1473


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