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104th Congress                                                   Report                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES  2d Session                                                     104-631 _______________________________________________________________________   DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL,                                    1997                                 _______                                   June 19, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the                State of the Union and ordered to be printed _______________________________________________________________________ Mr. Wolf, from the Committee on Appropriations, submitted the following                               R E P O R T                         [To accompany H.R. 3675]     The Committee on Appropriations submits the following  report in explanation of the accompanying bill making  appropriations for the Department of Transportation and related  agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1997. * * * * *                           Major Recommendations     Selected major recommendations in the accompanying bill  are:           * * * * *            (10) The bill includes a total of $51,300,000 in          offsetting collections for Coast Guard, Acquisition,          construction, and improvements; Federal Aviation          Administration, Operations; Research and Special          Programs Administration, Research and special programs;          and Bureau of Transportation Statistics, airline          statistics; * * * * *                                         Transportation Planning, Research, and Development Appropriation, fiscal year 1996 \1\.....................      $8,220,000 Budget estimate, fiscal year 1997.......................       7,919,000 Recommended in the bill.................................       3,000,000 Bill compared with:     Appropriation, fiscal year 1996.....................      -5,220,000     Budget estimate, fiscal year 1997...................      -4,919,000 \1\ Excludes reductions of $301,000 to comply with working capital fund,  awards, and administrative reductions, and $13,000 to comply with the  Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996.     This appropriation finances those research activities and  studies concerned with planning, analysis, and information  development needed to support the Secretary's responsibilities  in the formulation of national transportation policies. The  overall program is carried out primarily through contracts with  other federal agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit  research organizations, and private firms.     The Committee recommends $3,000,000 for this appropriation,  which represents a decrease of $5,220,000 below the funding  level provided for fiscal year 1996. The recommended level  holds transportation and planning studies to $2,757,000  (-$51,000) and permits the annualization and other pay-related  costs for 17 FTEs, as requested in the budget. The Committee  has included $100,000 to continue the department's ongoing  analysis of impacts on Mexico and the United States related to  motor carrier impacts of the North American Free Trade  Agreement. The recommendation deletes funding for planned trade  promotion activities which should be provided by the Department  of Commerce.     The recommended level reflects elimination of further  funding for the transportation automated procurement system  (TAPS) (-$2,511,000) and the docket management system (DMS)  (-$1,100,000). The TAPS pilot test program and evaluation have  yet to be completed within the office of the secretary and, as  a result, further departmental conversion and full  implementation are premature. While the Committee agrees that  further improvements may be desirable, they must be deferred  due to the high outlays associated with this account and the  tight budget constraints facing Congress. The recommended level  deletes funding for the development of GPS augmentation  (-$1,000,000), holds ``other costs'' to the 1996 level  (-$257,000), and assumes the transfer of aviation information  management to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. * * * * *      A list of the federal highway programs under the limitation  follows:           Interstate Construction.           Interstate Maintenance.           Interstate Gap Closing.           Interstate 4R.           Interstate Discretionary--Construction.           Interstate Discretionary--4R Maryland.           Interstate Discretionary--4R.           Interstate Discretionary--Apportioned.           Interstate Discretionary--Discretionary.           Rail-Highway Crossings on Any Public Road.           Hazard Elimination.           Combined Road Plan.           Consolidated Primary.           Rural Secondary.           Urban System.           Highway Planning and Research.           Public Lands.           Indian Reservation Roads.           Parkways and Park Highways.           Forest Highways.           Special Urban High Density.           Special Bridge Replacement.           Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation--Apportioned,          Discretionary, and Talmadge Bridge.           Franconia Notch.           Bypass Highway Demonstration.           Urgent Supplemental Bridges.           Los Angeles Freight Transportation Demo, CA-131(a).           Baton Rouge Interchange Congestion, Demo, LA-131.           Louisville Primary Connector Accel. Demo, KY-131(e).           Vermont Certification Demo-131(f).           Devils Lake Erosion Demo, ND-131(g).           Bridge Over Intracoastal Waterway Demo, FL-131(h).           Idaho Truck Safety/Railroad Elimination Demo-131(i).           Acosta Bridge, Florida.           Administration.           Studies (Sections 158, 159, 164 & 165 under P.L. 100-         17).           Demonstration Projects--149(d).           Strategic Highway Research Program.           Operation Lifesaver.           Congestion Pricing Pilot.           National Highway System.           Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement.           Surface Transportation Program.           Interstate Substitution.           Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality.           Donor State Bonus.           Metropolitan Planning.           Apportionment Adjustment.           Model Intermodal Transportation Plans.           Transportation Assistance Program.           Seismic Research and Development.           Fundamental Properties of Asphalt.           Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship.           Timber Bridge Research and Demonstration.           Intelligent Transportation Systems.           Ferry Boat Construction.           Bureau of Transportation Statistics.           University Transportation Centers.           University Research Institute.           Scenic Byways Technical Assistance.           Scenic Byways Interim Program.           Tax Evasion Project.           Safety Belt/Helmet Incentive Grants.           Alcohol Impaired Driving Countermeasures.           International Truck Registry Uniformity.           Applied Research and Development Program.           Border Crossings.           Infrastructure Investment Commission.           High Speed Rail Corridor Crossings. * * * * *                    Bureau of Transportation Statistics                      office of airline information Appropriation, fiscal year 1996.........................      $2,200,000 Budget estimate, fiscal year 1997.......................       3,100,000 Recommended in the bill..................... ........................... Bill compared with:     Appropriation, fiscal year 1996.....................      -2,200,000     Budget estimate, fiscal year 1997...................      -3,100,000     The Committee has not provided $3,100,000 from the airport  and airway trust fund to finance the office of airline  information within the Bureau of Transportation Statistics  (BTS). The Committee has included bill language that would  permit the BTS to collect up to $3,100,000 in user fees to  conduct activities related to airline statistics.     The work of the BTS consists of compiling transportation  statistics, implementing a long-term data collection system,  coordinating information collection, and making statistics  available. The Bureau acquired the office of airline  information in 1995 from RSPA. The office of airline  information collects financial and operational information from  U.S. certified airlines.     The BTS is directed to prepare a report analyzing aviation  statistics fees to be raised from private and government  entities. Such analyses shall include a proposed fee schedule,  demand elasticity, effect on private business, and any  additional proposals to ensure that the aviation statistics  program is fully funded from offsetting collections. This  report should be forwarded to the House and Senate Committees  on Appropriations not later than September 1, 1996.     The Committee notes that section 6006 of the Intermodal  Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 provides an  additional $25,000,000 to the BTS, an increase of $5,000,000,  or 25 percent, above the 1996 level. These funds are available  to compile, analyze, and publish a comprehensive set of  transportation statistics to provide timely summaries and  totals (including industry-wide aggregates and multi-year  averages) of transportation-related information. It is the  opinion of the Committee that these funds could be available  for the compilation of airline statistics should the BTS be  unable to raise sufficient funds to cover the costs of  analyzing aviation statistics. The Committee may also consider  augmenting the funds available to the BTS through agency  reimbursable agreements should the user fee analysis conclude  that the fees collected would be insufficient to cover the  costs of airline statistics. * * * * *               Section 325 provides that not to exceed $3,100,000 in  expenses of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics necessary  to conduct activities related to airline statistics may be  incurred but only to the extent such expenses are offset by  user fees.     The Committee has not included provisions proposed in the  budget:      (1) pertaining to the Panama Canal Commission; (2)  allowing the Director of the Bureau of Transportation  Statistics to enter into grants, cooperative agreements, and  other transactions to collect data on the impact of natural  disasters on transportation systems; and (3) allowing transfer  authority not to exceed 5 percent between discretionary  appropriations in this Act. * * * * *      Section 325 allows funds received by the Bureau of  Transportation Statistics from the sale of data products be  credited to the Federal-aid highways account for the purpose of  reimbursing the Bureau for such expenses and provides  $3,100,000 in user fees for the aviation statistics program. * * * * *                    Appropriations Not Authorized by Law     Pursuant to clause 3 of rule XXI of the House of  Representatives, the following lists the appropriations in the  accompanying bill which are not authorized by law:   United States Coast Guard   Federal Aviation Administration   National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Operations          and Research   National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Highway          traffic safety grants   Federal Railroad Administration (except office of the          administrator and rail safety)   Research and Special Programs Administration, Pipeline Safety   Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Aviation Statistics   National Civil Aviation Review Commission