On July 10, the House Appropriations Committee introduced its version of the fiscal year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill. The bill includes funding for the Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other related agencies. In total, the bill reflects an allocation of $56.5 billion in discretionary spending — $1.1 billion below fiscal year 2017 levels and $8.6 billion above the President’s request.
On July 12, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a full committee hearing entitled, “The Use of TIFIA and Innovative Financing in Improving Infrastructure to Enhance Safety, Mobility, and Economic Opportunity.”
The hearing focused on the nation’s enormous need for infrastructure investment, and how Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans can help meet it. Christopher Coes, Vice President for Real Estate Policy and External Affairs, joined the hearing to testify.
President Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement on June 1st, and since then more than 211 U.S. mayors have pledged to uphold it despite the president’s action. Together the mayors represent more than 54 million Americans and some of the largest U.S. cities.
To these mayors we say: thank you for your leadership. We support you and this strong commitment to reducing emissions at the city level. Keep going.
How should mayors keep going, exactly? The Mayors National Climate Action Agenda has already outlined several suggestions for how cities can achieve these goals, including things like investing in electric cars and clean energy.
We’re here to add that building compact, walkable neighborhoods served by transit is a crucial part of reducing emissions. Using this approach can help cities reach their emissions goals faster. Here’s why and how.
Earlier this week, President Trump released his full fiscal year (FY) 2018 federal budget which, if enacted, would represent an enormous reduction in federal spending on America’s safety net and other vital domestic programs. As proposed, the budget would slash non-defense discretionary spending by $54 billion next year, but increase federal spending on defense and border security. And while Trump’s proposal does include $200 billion for infrastructure, it either eliminates or drastically reduces key federal programs that support attainable housing, community development, affordable transportation, and a clean and healthy environment.
Yesterday President Trump released his proposal for the fiscal year 2018 federal budget. Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, issued the following response:
“There’s a lot of puzzling logic in this budget, but one point stood out to me above the others. It was the budget’s justification for cuts to transportation. Despite a pledge of raising $200 billion for infrastructure spending, the budget explains that because cities are investing in public transportation, the federal government should stop doing so.
The fact that local governments are spending money on public transportation—or housing, or neighborhood revitalization—shows just how much cities value these things. Local governments and the private sector are willing to invest their own dollars to make these things happen. The federal government should follow their lead and help that work go farther.
Today, President Trump signed into law a $1.1 trillion budget to continue funding the government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2017, which runs through the end of September.
This legislation overall maintains funding for key federal programs critical to rebuilding neighborhoods and providing attainable housing and affordable transportation options. Here’s what the bill contains for smart growth-related programs
Despite the demand for walkable urban places in New York, most real estate investment has been in the region’s core rather than in creating new walkable urban places or growing the region’s rail-served town centers. This represents a lost economic opportunity, and presents a real danger of a substantial affordable housing crisis if efforts to balance the region are not taken.
Yesterday President Trump released his blueprint for the next federal budget. The proposal would cut billions of dollars from domestic programs —including key programs that support economic growth in American communities.
Among its provisions Trump’s proposal would completely eliminate HUD’s Community Development Block Grants, USDOT’s TIGER program, and the National Endowment for the Arts. It would also make major cuts to the EPA and the Brownfields program; HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program; as well as development programs at USDA.
This is a broadside against the things that make communities work. Trump’s budget jeopardizes people’s homes, their abilities to get to work, and local economies across the country. Without these federal programs communities will see rising demands on their services and fewer opportunities to grow their economies—and we are here to fight it.
Earlier today President Trump released his budget blueprint for fiscal year 2017-2018, which outlines increased military spending and cuts for many domestic programs—including key programs that support economic growth in American communities.
Notably the blueprint eliminates funding for HUD’s Community Development Block Grants, USDOT’s TIGER Grants, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and would make major cuts to the EPA; HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program; as well as development programs at USDA.
Yesterday, the Senate voted to confirm Elaine Chao as the next Secretary of Transportation.
To Secretary Chao we say congratulations. America’s transportation system is a key part of our economy and our communities, and in your new position you have a unique and valuable opportunity to improve this country.
Chao already has experience running a federal agency, and has made clear that safety will be a priority for her time as transportation secretary. We think that’s fantastic—especially if she means making streets safer for people walking and biking.