TEA-21 RTP Reauthorization Timeline

Reauthorization Timeline

On April 2, 2004, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3550 by a vote of 357-65. The RTP funding levels ($503 million over six years) included in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s amended bill were retained in the legislation as passed by the House. A copy of the bill can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/. The bill now moves on to a Senate-House conference that will work out the differences between the two versions of the legislation.

On March 24, 2004, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported out an amended version of H.R. 3550, which reduces overall funding levels from $375 billion to $275 billion. Proposed funding for RTP was also reduced somewhat, from $700 million over six years to $503 million over the same period ($53 million in 2004, $70 million in 2005, $80 million in 2006, $90 million in 2007, $100 million in 2008, and $110 million in 2009). Despite the decrease, however, the $503 million funding level represents an 86% increase over the $270 million in funding provided during the six years of TEA-21. The legislation is tentatively scheduled to be considered by the full House of Representatives late in the following week.

On February 10, 2004 , 22 Members of Congress from both parties (10 Republicans and 12 Democrats) signed a letter to Representative Tom Petri; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways, Transit and Pipelines, expressing support for the level of funding for RTP included in H.R. 3550. “It is our belief that the recreational trails program greatly enhances the quality of life for our constituents and our country, and acts as a spur for recreation participation when our nation faces great health concerns arising from too little physical activity,” stated the letter, which also cited the benefits of enhancing the RTP for “all who enjoy the American outdoors, and those whose livelihoods depend on it.” The letter was coordinated by Representatives Jon Porter (R - NV) and Nick Rahall (D - WV).

On February 12, 2004 , the Senate passed S. 1072 by a vote of 76 - 21. As passed, the legislation included the $60 million in annual funding for RTP. A copy of the bill can be found on the Web at: http://thomas.loc.gov/. Legislative action now moves to the House of Representatives.

On November 19, 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unveiled its $375 billion six-year transportation funding bill, The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU). The bill, H.R. 3550, was introduced the following day. Included in the legislation is substantially increased funding for the Recreational Trails Program: $70 million in 2004; $90 million in 2005; $110 million in 2006; $130 million in 2007; and $150 million in both 2008 and 2009. Additional information is available on the committee’s Web site: http://www.house.gov/transportation.

On May 15, 2003, S. 1072, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003 (SAFETEA) was introduced in the U.S. Senate. On November 12, 2003, the Committee on Environment and Public Works ordered an amended version of S.1072 reported out. The amended bill (like the earlier version) authorizes $60 million in annual funding for the Recreational Trails Program for Fiscal Years 2004 through 2009. A copy of the bill can be accessed on the committee’s Web site: http://epw.senate.gov/