[From the House Reports Online via GPO Access
Check for accuracy before citing or quoting.]
[Omissions are indicated by ellipses: "* * * * *"]
104th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 104-631
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL,
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.
* * * * *
Selected major recommendations in the accompanying bill
* * * * *
(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
* * * * *
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
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
Interstate Gap Closing.
Interstate Discretionary--4R Maryland.
Rail-Highway Crossings on Any Public Road.
Combined Road Plan.
Highway Planning and Research.
Indian Reservation Roads.
Parkways and Park Highways.
Special Urban High Density.
Special Bridge Replacement.
Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation--Apportioned,
Discretionary, and Talmadge Bridge.
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.
Studies (Sections 158, 159, 164 & 165 under P.L. 100-
Strategic Highway Research Program.
Congestion Pricing Pilot.
National Highway System.
Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement.
Surface Transportation Program.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality.
Donor State Bonus.
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.
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
The Committee has not included provisions proposed in the
(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
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