House passes second fiscal 2011 spending bill

The House also passed this week the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill. Either could serve as a vehicle for an expected continuing resolution that will be passed before the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. 

The bill provides $45.2 billion for highway infrastructure, $4.1 billion above fiscal 2010 levels and $3.9 billion above the request to improve and repair the nation’s aging highway infrastructure. 

The measure makes an $11.3 billion investment in public transportation, $500 million above last year's funding and $575 million above the president’s request, to support bus and rail projects, including capital expenditures. 

The increase will support an estimated 20,000 additional jobs for transit workers around the country, according to the House Appropriations Committee.

The measure also provides $2.5 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, $455 million above the request and matching 2010 for public housing authorities to make repairs and improvements to public housing. 

Under the bill, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, will receive $4.35 billion, $97.9 million above 2010 and $28 million below the president's request, to spur local construction and development. 

The measure also provide $1.4 billion for the passenger rail grant program, $400 million above the White House's request, to expand and improve intercity passenger rail and develop a national high speed rail system.

Amtrak will receive $1.77 billion under the resident's request to support the 1.3 million units of housing assisted.

• $1.3 billion for aviation safety programs, $70.42 million above last year's levels and $10.5 million above the request, for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety enforcement efforts, including $17 million to hire 122 additional safety inspectors to assist with NextGen development.

• $891.2 million for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, $13.6 million above the request and $18.5 million above fiscal 2010.

• $150 million for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for capital and preventative maintenance for the D.C. metro system