Transportation-Housing Funding Bill Supports Gateway, Other NJ Priorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2019 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee today protects programs important to New Jersey communities.  The legislation includes funding for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other related agencies.

“For too long, the transportation infrastructure in our nation has been neglected, which has dampened growth and efficiency. This bill will provide a much-needed boost in funding for improvements in our infrastructure system – whether it is roads, bridges, rail, bus, air travel, or waterways. I’m particularly pleased to see funding in the bill that will support the Northeast Corridor by modernizing and maintaining the safety of one of the busiest and most economically vital systems in the world,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) said. “It also supports core community and housing programs to ensure shelter for our most vulnerable citizens, to expand economic opportunities for our local communities, and to improve the towns and cities that Americans call home.”

The FY ’19 provides $3.2 billion for various rail programs, $62.5 million over current funding levels and $2.1 billion above the President’s budget request.

The legislation provides significant funding for critical Northeast Corridor rail infrastructure with $500 million in the Rail State of Good Repair account, an increase of $250 million above current levels.  Amtrak is funded $1.9 billion, with $650 million dedicated to the Northeast Corridor account.

“These investments will be used to shore up important transportation infrastructure that is vital to our economy and our national security. This includes funding that can be used for the Gateway Project, which is not just critical to New York and New Jersey but to the entire country. More than 20 states rely on the East Coast rail system,” said Frelinghuysen.  “I worry greatly about the possibility of a catastrophe in one of the tunnels – the security and economic implications of which would ripple across the nation. So, the benefits of the Gateway Project exceed state lines and party lines. As I told Secretary Chao, the Administration’s opposition to this project is baffling, and frankly, unacceptable. So I am very, very glad to see that this bill provides the funds needed to move this project forward, and I urge Secretary Chao not to stand in the way of such an important investment that truly puts America first.”

The bill also includes $262.3 million for rail safety and research, $40.4 million above the President’s budget request.

The legislation also provides $390 million for Section 811 housing vouchers for non-elderly, disabled persons, an increase of $283 million above the President’s request.  These “Frelinghuysen Vouchers” provide new housing opportunities for persons with disabilities. This funding will support existing voucher holders and serve 30,000 additional non-elderly disabled households.

The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program, a program proposed for elimination by the Administration, is funded at $3.3 billion, the same as current levels. CDBG is a flexible program that provides communities in New Jersey with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.


In total, the bill reflects an allocation of $71.8 billion in discretionary spending – $1.5 billion above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $23.8 billion above the request. The allocation reflects the second year of the bipartisan budget agreement, and again targets resources to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, including airports, roads, bridges, and rail. This funding will support critical infrastructure investments at the state and local level, and will provide needed resources for community development and essential housing programs.