February 13, 2009

House, Senate strike stimulus accord

One day after the U.S. Senate passed an $838 billion version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan of 2009, a compromise was struck with the $819 billion House version passed in January, creating a reconciled version worth $789 billion.

In their original forms, the House version allocated approximately $42 billion toward transportation infrastructure, with $30 billion dedicated to highway and bridge construction projects. The Senate version allocated about $46 billion, with $27 billion slotted for transportation infrastructure.

The Washington Post reports that the final amount of spending for highway, bridge and rail construction projects may be $49.6 billion, which is higher than what was originally proposed by both the House and Senate.

Besides funds for transportation infrastructure and highway and bridge construction projects, other monies will go toward a host of areas, including capital investment grants for new commuter rail or other light systems, modernizing existing transit systems, improving intermodal facilities and public transportation equipment, intercity passenger rail service, and airport improvement grants.

It was hoped that the bill would be signed by President Barack Obama by Friday; however, it appears more likely that he may sign the bill on President’s Day, according to published reports.

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