H.R. 5604: Surface Transportation Savings Act

H.R. 5604

Surface Transportation Savings Act

Date
July 20, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 5604 on Tuesday, July 20, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  This legislation was introduced by Rep. Thomas Perriello (D-VA).

Bill Summary

The bill would rescind nearly $107 million in contract authority authorized under law to certain surface transportation programs within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.  However, this $107 million in contract authority for these specific programs was above the obligation limitations set by appropriations, and thus, CBO estimates this bill will produce no net savings, nor will it reduce the deficit.

The bill rescinds the following contract authority:

The bill rescinds $80,994,029 from the Safety Belt Performance Grants program, $6,547,000 from administrative expenses, $78,000 from the National Drivers Register, $1,829,000 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and $17,394,000 from the Transit Formula and Bus Grants programs.

Background

The $18 million in funds target for rescission from the Safety Belt Performance Grants program could not be expended by the agency because only three states were expected to meet the eligibility criteria for the program.  In other cases of rescinded funds, the authorized money exceeded the amount appropriated for FY2010, and therefore could not be expended.

Cost

According to CBO, the rescissions in H.R. 5604 would not affect outlays in 2010.  The contract authority currently available for FHWA, FTA, and NHTSA’s administrative expenses exceeds the obligation limitations that have been enacted for 2010.  Therefore, the contract authority for those agencies that would be rescinded by this bill would not be obligated or spent in 2010, and under current law, will remain unavailable for spending until a future appropriations act sets an obligation limitation that would be high enough to encompass that amount.

Overall, the bill will have no actual impact on spending, and therefore, will not reduce the nation’s budget deficit.