HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES TRANSPORTATION FUNDING BILL
The House Committee on Appropriations last week completed work on a fiscal year 2003 Transportation spending bill that provides $6 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard, and more than $150 million for port security grants.
The bill also provides $13 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration. Additionally, maritime and land security is funded at $207 million, an increase of $159 million over the budget request. Highway construction and maintenance spending totals $27.7 billion, $4.4 billion more than President Bush’s requested.
The $6.1 billion provided for the Coast Guard is an increase of $566 million over fiscal year 2002 enacted levels, and $3 million above the budget request. The recommendation increases the Coast Guard’s operating budget by $525 million over last year’s level, and $152 million above the budget request.
Within the Coast Guard’s capital appropriation, $500 million has been budgeted for the “Deepwater” program, a Coast Guard shipbuilding and vessel improvement initiative. Deepwater is the largest acquisition program ever attempted by the Department of Transportation.