Summary: H.R.2989 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/23/2003)

Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004 - Title I: Department of Transportation - Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 for the following agencies: (1) Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary; (2) Office of Civil Rights; (3) the Working Capital Fund; (4) Minority Business Resource Center Program; (5) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); (6) grants-in-aid for airports; (7) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); (8) Federal-Aid Highways, including Highway Safety Programs; (9) Appalachian Development Highway System; (10) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; (11) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; (12) National Driver Register; (13) Highway Traffic Safety Grants; (14) Federal Railroad Administration; (15) Railroad Research and Development; (16) Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Program; (17) Next Generation High-Speed Rail; (18) Alaska Railroad Rehabilitation; (19) Grants to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak); (20) Federal Transit Administration (FTA); (21) Formula Grants; (22) University Transportation Research; (23) Transit Planning and Research; (24) Capital Investment Grants; (25) Job Access and Reverse Commute Grants; (26) Utah Transportation Projects; (27) Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; (28) Maritime Administration; (29) Research and Special Programs Administration; (30) Pipeline Safety; (31) Emergency Preparedness Grants; (32) Office of the Inspector General; and (33) the Surface Transportation Board.

(Sec. 105) Directs the FAA to give priority consideration to Paulding County, Georgia, Airport improvements for the Airport Improvement Program.

(Sec. 106) Prohibits the use of funds to establish or implement a pilot program under which up to ten designated essential air service communities located in proximity to hub airports are required to assume ten percent of their essential air subsidy costs for a four-year period (EAS local participation program).

(Sec. 107) Authorizes the FAA Administrator, for airport development purposes, to give priority consideration to a letter of intent application for funding submitted by the City of Gary, Indiana, or the State of Indiana, for the extension of the main runway at the Gary/Chicago Airport.

(Sec. 108) Prohibits the use of funds to adopt rules or regulations concerning travel agent service fees unless the Department of Transportation publishes in the Federal Register revisions to the proposed rule and provides at least 60 days for additional public comment.

(Sec. 109) Declares that it is the sense of the Senate that the Secretary of Transportation must, in connection with the Philadelphia International Airport Capacity Enhancement Program, consider the impact of aircraft noise on northern Delaware: (1) within the scope of the environmental impact statement prepared in connection with the Program; and (2) as part of any study of aircraft noise required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and conducted pursuant to specified regulations.

(Sec. 110) Makes certain funds available for air traffic control facilities, John C. Stennis International Airport, Hancock County, Mississippi.

(Sec. 113) Authorizes FY 2004 funding of historic covered bridges eligible for Federal assistance under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) from amounts set aside for the discretionary bridge program.

(Sec. 114) Directs the Secretary of Transportation to enter into an agreement with Nevada, Arizona, or both, to provide a method of funding for construction of a Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge from funds allocated for the Federal Lands Highway Program.

(Sec. 115) Amends ISTEA to change a specified relocation priority intermodal project for Detroit, Michigan, to one for road improvements and non-motorized enhancements in the Detroit East Riverfront.

(Sec. 116) Requires the transfer of certain Transportation and Community and System Preservation Program funds for the Lodge Freeway and Eastern Market pedestrian overpasses, Detroit, Michigan, to such enhancements in the East Riverfront, Detroit, Michigan.

(Sec. 118) Makes unexpended balances of the amounts made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 from the Federal-aid highway account for improvements to Council Grove Lake, Kansas, available to make improvements to Richey Cove, Santa Fe Recreation Area, Canning Creek Recreation Area, and other areas in Kansas.

(Sec. 119) Earmarks specified Federal-aid highway funds available for Texas Statewide ITS Deployment and Integration for the deployment and implementation of an Intelligent Transportation System project at Port of Galveston, Texas, and of another such project at City of Lubbock, Texas.

(Sec. 120) Instructs the FHWA to extend and fund current research projects under title V of TEA-21 through February 29, 2004.

(Sec. 121) Earmarks certain Transportation, Planning, and Research funds for: (1) interior air quality demonstration activities at the Bristol, Virginia, control facility to evaluate standard industrial fuel system performance and efficiency with drive-by-wire engine management and emissions systems; and (2) the Market Street enhancement project in Burlington, Vermont.

(Sec. 122) Earmarks certain funds for: (1) improvements to Bowman Road and Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, Highway 17, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina; and (2) the Arkwright Connector. But prohibits the availability of any funds for the Northwest Bypass project.

(Sec. 131) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to implement or enforce any provisions of the Final Rule, issued on April 16, 2003 (Docket No. FMCSA-97-2350), with respect to either: (1) the operators of utility service vehicles; or (2) maximum daily hours of service for drivers engaged in the transportation of property or passengers to or from a motion picture or television production site located within a 100-air mile radius of the work reporting location of such drivers.

(Sec. 154) Makes certain funds available to the Colorado Roaring Fork Transportation Authority also available for expenditure on park and ride lots in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, Colorado, as part of the Roaring Fork Valley Bus Rapid Transit project.

(Sec. 156) Directs the Secretary to establish a pilot grant program to determine the benefits of encouraging cooperative procurement of major capital equipment in pilot projects involving urbanized formula grants for mass transit capital projects, capital investment grants and loans for new fixed guideway systems, and mass transportation service projects for areas other than urbanized areas. Sets the Federal share for a grant at 90 percent of the net project cost.

(Sec. 157) Makes certain new fixed guideway system funds available for the Yosemite, California, area regional transportation system project also available for obligation for the replacement, rehabilitation, or purchase of buses or related equipment, or the construction of bus-related facilities.

(Sec. 158) Directs the Secretary, for the purpose of calculating the non-New Starts share of the total project cost of both phases of San Francisco Muni's Third Street Light Rail Transit project for FY 2004, to: (1) include all non-New Starts contributions made towards Phase 1 of the two-phase project for engineering, final design and construction; and (2) also allow non-New Starts funds expended on one element or phase of the project to be used to meet the non-New Starts share requirement of any element or phase of the project.

(Sec. 159) Authorizes the use for the Euclid Corridor Transportation Project of certain funds made available for the Cleveland Berea Red Line Extension to the Hopkins International Airport project.

Title II: Department of the Treasury - Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 for the Department of the Treasury, including: (1) department-wide systems and capital investments; (2) the Office of Inspector General; (3) Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration; (4) the Air Transportation Stabilization Board; (5) Treasury Building and Annex Repair and Restoration; (6) Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; (7) Financial Management Service; (8) Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau; (9) U.S. Mint; (10) Bureau of the Public Debt; (11) the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); (12) tax law enforcement; and (13) health insurance tax credit administration.

(Sec. 205) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act by the Secretary of the Treasury, or his designee, to issue any rule or regulation implementing the proposed amendments to IRS regulations set forth in REG-209500-86 and REG-164464-02, or any amendments reaching results similar to such proposed amendments.

(Sec. 206) Directs the IRS to study and report to Congress on any program that requires certification (including pre-certification) in order to claim the earned income tax credit.

(Sec. 216) Amends Federal law to extend from five years to six years the authorization for the personnel management demonstration project providing for the compensation and performance management of not more than a combined total of 950 employees who fill critical scientific, technical, engineering, intelligence analyst, language translator, and medical positions in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Title III: Executive Office of the President and Funds Appropriated to the President - Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 for compensation of the President and salaries and expenses of designated White House agencies, including: (1) the Council of Economic Advisers; (2) National Security Council; (3) Office of Management and Budget (OMB); and (4) various Federal Drug Control Programs.

Title IV: Independent Agencies - Authorizes appropriations for FY 2004 for independent agencies, including: (1) the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board; (2) Committee for Purchases from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled; (3) Federal Election Commission; (4) Election Assistance Commission; (5) Federal Labor Relations Authority; (6) Federal Maritime Administration; (7) General Services Administration (GSA); (8) Merit Systems Protection Board; (9) the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Trust Fund; (10) the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund; (11) the National Archives and Records Administration; (12) the National Historical Publications and Records Commission; (13) the National Transportation Safety Board; (14) the Office of Government Ethics; (15) the Office of Personnel Management (OPM); (16) the Office of Special Counsel; (17) U.S. Postal Service; (18) U.S. Tax Court; and (19) the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance.

(Sec. 408) Authorizes the GSA Administrator to: (1) acquire certain land in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, as a site for the public building needs of the Federal Government; (2) design and construct upon the site a new Federal Office Building to house the Federal agencies presently located in the Thomas J. McIntyre Federal Building. Makes certain funds available for such purposes; and (3) convey without consideration the Thomas J. McIntyre Federal Office Building to the City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for economic development purposes, subject to specified conditions.

Title V: General Provisions (This Act) - Sets forth permissions for and restrictions upon the use of funds for designated Department of Transportation activities.

(Sec. 504) Declares that none of the funds in this Act shall be available for salaries and expenses of more than 106 political and Presidential appointees in the Department of Transportation. Prohibits the assignment of such appointees on temporary detail outside the Department of Transportation.

(Sec. 508) Prohibits the use of funds to establish in the Department of Transportation a National Highway Safety Advisory Committee.

(Sec. 511) Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to allow the issuer of any preferred stock heretofore sold to the Department of Transportation to redeem or repurchase it upon the payment to the Department of an amount determined by the Secretary.

(Sec. 515) Subjects funds appropriated or limited in this Act to the requirements for the safety of cross-border trucking between the United States and Mexico of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002, including an annual report to specified congressional committees on the safety and security of transportation into the United States by Mexico-domiciled motor carriers.

(Sec. 517) Reduces funds provided in this Act for the Working Capital Fund by $17.816 million, which limits FY 2004 Working Capital Fund obligational authority for elements of the Department of Transportation funded in this Act to no more than $98.899 million. Requires such reductions from the budget request to be allocated by the Department of Transportation to each appropriations account in proportion to the amount included in each account for the Working Capital Fund.

(Sec. 518) Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) to designate the portion of U.S. 78 from Tupelo, Mississippi, to Memphis, Tennessee, a high priority corridor named Interstate Route I-22.

(Sec. 519) Makes recovered improper payments by the Department of Transportation to a third party contractor under a financial assistance award available to: (1) reimburse the actual expenses incurred in recovering improper payments; and (2) pay contractors for services provided in recovering them.

(Sec. 522) Requires the Department of Transportation, in conducting a mandated rulemaking establishing standards for waiver of restrictions imposed under specified FAA Notices to Airmen, and any other agencies involved in the rulemaking, to ensure that the proposed rules fully and accurately reflect the findings by the General Accounting Office about the adequacy of the Department's procedures used before the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution, 2003 in order to ensure the security of events, stadiums, or other venues beneath restricted airspace.

(Sec. 523) Prohibits payment of the salary from any appropriation under this Act for any person filling a permanent or indefinite position formerly held by an employee who has: (1) left to enter the U.S. Armed Forces; (2) satisfactorily completed his period of active military or naval service; (3) within 90 days after release from such service, or from hospitalization continuing after discharge for a period of not more than one year, applied for restoration to his former position; and (4) been certified by OPM as still qualified to perform the duties of his former position, but not been restored to it.

(Sec. 524) Sets forth Buy America requirements, and penalties for their violation.

(Sec. 532) Makes eligible for certain funds any bridge owned and operated by a State agency: (1) whose toll revenues are administered by a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); and (2) whose toll revenues provide for subsidizing of non-capital transportation costs. Limits the amount of toll revenues expended for non-capital transportation costs to the cumulative amount of local toll revenues used for Federal interstate and Federal-aid highway construction and improvement projects in the toll bridge corridors. Requires the Secretary of Transportation, before authorizing an expenditure of funds, to determine that the cumulative amount of toll revenues used for such projects is greater than the cumulative amount of toll revenue used for non-capital transportation projects not directly related to the ongoing operation and maintenance of the toll bridges.

(Sec. 533) Reduces by $128.076 million any amounts appropriated or limited in this Act in specified Object Classes.

(Sec. 534) Prohibits the use of funds appropriated or limited in title I of this Act to change weight restrictions or prior permission rules at Teterboro Airport (New Jersey).

(Sec. 535) Amends Federal postal law to extend through December 31, 2005, the mandate to the U.S. Postal Service for a special first-class mail postage rate as a convenient way for the public to contribute to funding for breast cancer research.

(Sec. 536) Amends the Federal Transit Act to direct the FTA and FHWA to work with the Utah Transit Authority and the Utah Department of Transportation to coordinate the development regional commuter rail and the northern segment of I-15 reconstruction located in the Wasatch Front corridor extending from Brigham City to Payson, Utah. Includes in such coordination: (1) integration of preliminary engineering and design; (2) a simplified method for allocating project costs among eligible FTA and FHWA funding sources; and (3) a unified accounting and audit process.

States that, for purposes of determining and allocating the nongovernmental and governmental share of costs, the following projects comprise a related program of projects: (1) regional commuter rail; (2) the TRAX light rail system; (3) TRAX extensions to the Medical Center and to the Gateway Intermodal Center; and (4) the northern segment of I-15 reconstruction. Requires the governmental share of project costs appropriated from the Section 5309 New Start program to conform to the share specified in the extension or reauthorization of TEA21.

(Sec. 537) Authorizes the use of certain mass transit capital project formula grant funds apportioned to the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority to to lease land, equipment, or facilities used in public transportation from another governmental authority in the same geographic area. Allows the non-Federal share of such a capital project to include revenues from the sale of advertising and concessions. Terminates this authorization on the earlier of September 30, 2004, or the date the Federal interest in the land, equipment, or facilities leased reaches 80 percent of its fair market value at disposition.

(Sec. 538) Authorizes the availability of funds otherwise designated to the Pennsylvania Cumberland/Dauphin County Corridor I project in committee reports accompanying this Act for any project activities authorized with respect to urbanized formula grants for mass transit capital projects and capital investment grants and loans for new fixed guideway systems.

(Sec. 539) Prohibits the use of funds to implement certain proposed OPM regulations published in the Federal Register on September 9, 2003, relating to the detail of executive branch employees to the legislative branch.

(Sec. 540) Requires that: (1) priority consideration be given to the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Airport for an ASR-11 radar unit; or (2) that provisions be made for the acquisition or transfer of a comparable radar unit.

(Sec. 541) Makes certain FAA Facilities and Equipment account funds available for the Technical Center Facilities in New Jersey.

(Sec. 542) Directs the FTA to permit the Memphis Area Transit Authority to use (until expended) for Memphis Regional Rail Plan planning, engineering, design, construction or acquisition projects all of remaining funds provided for the Memphis Medical Center light rail extension project through the new fixed guideway systems program.

(Sec. 543) Amends TEA-21 to make the Memphis-Shelby International Airport intermodal facility eligible for funding.

(Sec. 544) Requires that certain funds be provided for a precision instrument approach landing system (ILS) at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport, Gainesville, Georgia.

(Sec. 545) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act for converting to contractor performance an activity or function of an executive agency that is performed by executive agency employees, unless the conversion is based on the results of a public-private competition process that requires a determination whether the cost of performance of the activity or function by a contractor would be less costly to the executive agency by at least the lesser of $10 million dollars or ten percent of the cost of performing the activity with government personnel (or, if a more efficient organization has been developed, ten percent of its personnel-related performance costs).

States that, with respect to the use of any funds under this Act for the Department of Defense, certain reporting and analysis requirements do not apply with respect to the performance of a commercial or industrial type activity or function that: (1) is on the procurement list of commodities produced by a qualified nonprofit agency for the blind or for other severely handicapped; or (2) is planned to be converted to performance by such a qualified nonprofit agency or a commercial business at least 51 percent of which is owned by an Indian tribe.

Exempts from the requirements and waiver of requirements of this section depot contracts or contracts for depot maintenance, including Centers of Industrial and Technical Excellence.

Title VI: General Provisions (Departments, Agencies, and Corporations) - (Sec. 601) Sets forth requirements for the use of appropriations by designated departments, agencies and corporations.

(Sec. 617) Sets restrictions upon the use of appropriations, including a requirement that any Federal department, agency, or instrumentality administer in good faith a written policy designed to ensure that all workplaces are free from discrimination and sexual harassment and are not in violation of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

(Sec. 618) Prohibits appropriations from being made available for the salary of any Federal staffer or personnel that restrains other Federal personnel from communication or contact with congressional personnel regarding the employment of such other officer or employee, or pertaining to the department or agency of such other officer or employee.

(Sec. 628) Prohibits the use of funds by OPM or any other Federal department or agency to: (1) operate an online employment information service for the Federal Government under any contract awarded under a specified OPM request for quotations unless OPM complies with the recommendations of the Comptroller General decision of April 29, 2003, referred to as Symplicity Corporation, B-291902; or (2) prohibit any agency from using appropriated funds as it sees fit to contract independently with private companies to provide online employment applications and processing services.

(Sec. 632) Amends Federal law to extend from October 1, 2003, to October 1, 2004, the authorization for the franchise fund pilot programs in six executive agencies.

(Sec. 633) Prohibits, with specified exceptions, including exceptions for law enforcement and supervisory purposes, the use of funds made available in this or any other Act by any Federal agency to collect personally identifiable information relating to an individual's access to or use of Federal or nongovernmental Internet sites.

(Sec. 634) Prohibits the use of appropriations under by this Act to enter into a contract providing prescription drug coverage, unless it also provides for contraceptive coverage. Exempts specified religious plans.

(Sec. 636) Increases to 4.1 percent the adjustment in rates of basic pay for Federal employees under certain statutory pay systems, including civilian employees in the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

(Sec. 638) Prohibits the expenditure of appropriations under by this Act for FY 2004 for the purchase of a product or service offered by Federal Prison Industries, Inc., unless the purchasing agency determines that such offered product or service provides the best value to the buying agency pursuant to Government-wide procurement regulations.

(Sec. 639) Authorizes Federal departments and agencies to use funds appropriated for official travel to participate in the fractional aircraft ownership pilot program, if consistent with OMB Circular A-126 regarding official travel for Government personnel.

(Sec. 640) Requires each Federal department and agency to evaluate the creditworthiness of an individual before issuing him or her a Government purchase or travel charge card. Prohibits the department or agency from issuing such a card to an individual who either lacks a credit history or is found to have an unsatisfactory credit history. Prescribes conditions for the issuance of a restricted-use charge, debit, or stored value card made in accordance with specified agency procedures.

(Sec. 642) Requires each Federal agency to report annually to Congress on the competitive sourcing (privatizing) activities performed by it during the previous fiscal year.

(Sec. 643) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to administer or enforce the Cuban Assets Control Regulations with respect to any travel or travel-related transaction, with specified exceptions, including the administration of general or specific licenses for travel or travel-related transactions and certain business travel transactions.

(Sec. 644) Sets forth additional requirements for reporting by executive agencies on competitive sourcing (privatizing) activities performed during the previous fiscal year, including elements concerning costs, savings, and the effect on the Federal workforce.

(Sec. 645) Directs the Secretary of Transportation to amend the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to include a provision requiring that information be provided to motorists to assist them in locating licensed 24-hour pharmacy services open to the public.

(Sec. 646) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to remove any area within a Federal employee locality pay area from coverage under that locality pay area.

(Sec. 647) Requires each Federal department or agency head to transfer to or reimburse the FAA an amount of funds (up to a total of $6 million altogether) made available by this or any other Act to ensure the operation of the Midway Atoll Airfield by the FAA pursuant to an operational agreement with the Department of the Interior.