Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Sarbanes Fights to Protect Federal Funding for Maryland Transportation and Infrastructure Projects

Proposed Cuts Would Cost Maryland More Than $156 Million in Federal Grantmaking to Build and Repair Roads, Highways and Bridges, and to Support Several State Projects That Reduce Traffic Congestion and Improve Safety
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2019
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined a bipartisan group of House colleagues to urge Congressional Leadership to reverse disastrous cuts to federal highway funding that would cost Maryland more than $156 million.

“Section 1438 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act would rescind $7.6 billion in unobligated federal-aid highway contract authority on July 1, 2020,” the Members wrote. “Across the board, states will lose precious dollars needed for investment in infrastructure projects.”

The Members continued: “States have already started planning for the next construction season next summer. This provision must be addressed soon to ensure that states have enough time to plan for the coming year without disruption. Every one of these dollars represent vital jobs and needed investment in our economy and the movement of goods. These investments will be threatened if we do not act.”

See below for a full copy of the letter.

* * *

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy,

As the first session of the 116th Congress is nearing its end, we will likely be finalizing several important pieces of legislation that will be signed into law. We write to respectfully request that we address the upcoming rescission of $7.6 billion from the last highway bill in one of those bills.

Section 1438 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act would rescind $7.6 billion in unobligated federal-aid highway contract authority on July 1, 2020. This provision was included as a budget offset in the last highway bill, although some have characterized it as gimmick, the real-world impacts on states’ budgets are drastic.

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, states have approximately $7.9 billion in unobligated contract authority. This rescission will remove nearly all of this authority. Across the board, states will lose precious dollars needed for investment in infrastructure projects. In fact, California will see their contract authority reduced by $280 million and Texas will lose $960 million in contract authority. Every state will lose millions in contract authority, with 37 states losing over $50 million.

States have already started planning for the next construction season next summer. This provision must be addressed soon to ensure that states have enough time to plan for the coming year without disruption. Every one of these dollars represent vital jobs and needed investment in our economy and the movement of goods. These investments will be threatened if we do not act.

We stand ready to work with you to ensure that Congress takes the urgent action that these impending cuts demand.

Sincerely,
 

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