11/22/19 CAGTC: CR Cancels HTF Rescission, Funds Gov. Through 12/20

Dear CAGTC Members,

On November 22, Congress beat the midnight buzzer by passing a Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the Federal Government at Fiscal Year 2019 levels through midnight on December 20th. This was the second CR since the 2019 Fiscal Year ended on September 30. Beyond keeping the government open, the CR also eliminated a Highway Trust Fund (HTF) rescission that was included in 2015’s surface transportation authorization, the FAST Act. The rescission totaled nearly $7.6 billion in Federal-Aid Highway Program contract authority and would have taken effect July 1, 2020. Earlier this month, FHWA provided state departments of transportation a notice outlining the rescission requirements and a calculation of the FAST Act rescission, including rescission shares and rescission amounts by State and program/fund source.

Passing this legislation not only averted the HTF rescission scheduled to take place in July, but it also had the impact of adjusting the baseline in future years. Per the Congressional Budget Office:  “Consistent with the rules in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act for constructing the baseline, CBO extends the contract authority provided in law for 2020, the last year of the authorization provided by the FAST Act, at the same level in each of the following years. Thus, the amount of contract authority extended in CBO’s baseline years after 2020 reflects the rescission in 2020. Relative to that baseline, CBO estimates that enacting [a rescission] would increase contract authority for the Federal-Aid Highway Program relative to our baseline by $75.7 billion over the 2020-2029 period.” If you’re interested in learning more, follow this link to see CBO’s estimates; the rescission can be found under Title VII, Sec. 1702.

Thank you,