Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate without amendment (07/16/2007)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008 - Title I: Department of Transportation - Department of Transportation Appropriations Act, 2008 - Makes appropriations for FY2008 to the Department of Transportation, including: (1) the Office of the Secretary; (2) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); (3) the Federal Highway Administration; (4) the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; (5) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); (6) the Federal Railroad Administration; (7) the Federal Transit Administration (FTA); (8) the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; (9) the Maritime Administration; (10) the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; (11) the Research and Innovative Technology Administration; (12) the Office of Inspector General; and (13) the Surface Transportation Board.

(Sec. 103) Prohibits the obligation or obligation of funds to establish or implement a program under which essential air service (EAS) communities are required to assume subsidy costs commonly referred to as the EAS local participation program.

(Sec. 110) Prohibits the use of funds to compensate more than 375 technical staff-years under the federally funded research and development center contract between the FAA and the Center for Advanced Aviation Systems Development during FY2008.

(Sec. 111) Prohibits the use of funds to pursue or adopt guidelines or regulations requiring airport sponsors to provide to the FAA without cost building construction, maintenance, utilities and expenses, or space in airport sponsor-owned buildings for services relating to air traffic control, air navigation, or weather reporting. Exempts from this prohibition any negotiations between the agency and airport sponsors to achieve agreement on "below-market" rates for these items or to grant assurances that require airport sponsors to provide land without cost to the FAA for air traffic control facilities.

(Sec. 112) Authorizes the FAA Administrator to reimburse amounts made available to credit a certain account to carry out the essential air service program from fees credited to the FAA.

Makes inapplicable to FY2008 certain requirements for the use of fee proceeds for Funding for small community air service, especially rural air safety improvement and rural airport projects.

(Sec. 113) Requires that amounts collected for safety-related training and operational services to foreign aviation authorities be credited to the appropriation current at the time of collection, to be merged with and available for the same purposes of such appropriation.

(Sec. 114) Extends through certain dates in 2008: (1) any aircraft insurance policy; and (2) waiver of air carrier liability for third party claims arising out of acts of terrorism.

(Sec. 115) Declares that a pilot who has attained age 60 may serve as a pilot of an aircraft operated by an air carrier until attaining age 65 only if the pilot serves: (1) as a required pilot in multi-crew aircraft operations; and (2) with another pilot serving as a required pilot in such multi-crew aircraft operations who has not yet attained 60 years of age.

(Sec. 120. Prohibits for FY2008 distribution from the obligation limitation for federal-aid highways amounts authorized for specified administrative expenses and programs. Prescribes a formula for determining certain distributions of the obligation limitation. Specifies exceptions from the limitation, as well as its applicability to transportation research programs. Requires redistribution of certain authorized funds. Authorizes the obligation for any other listed project in the same state of obligation authority distributed for specified projects listed in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

(Sec. 121) Allows crediting to the federal-aid highways account of funds received by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics from the sale of data products, in order to reimburse the Bureau for necessary expenses incurred.

(Sec. 122) Rescinds specified funds made available for administrative expenses of the Federal Highway Administration and for infrastructure finance.

(Sec. 124) Designates certain authorized FY2008 federal-aid highway funds for projects and competitive initiatives as listed in the report accompanying this Act.

(Sec. 125) Requires the Secretary of Transportation to make an informal public notice and comment opportunity before waiving any Buy America requirement for federal-aid highway projects.

(Sec. 126) Declares that certain funds amounts made available for a project for construction of and improvements to North Shore Road in Swain County, North Carolina, that remain unobligated and unexpended after issuance of the record of decision for that project, may be used to implement the selected alternative included in the record of decision.

(Sec. 130) Subjects funds appropriated or limited in this Act to certain safety examination and other requirements of the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 and the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 relating to Mexico-domiciled motor carriers involved in cross-border trucking between the United States and Mexico, including an annual report on the subject by the Secretary of Transportation to the congressional appropriations committees.

(Sec. 140) Makes certain additional funds available to NHTSA to pay for: (1) travel and related expenses for state management reviews; and (2) core competency development training and related expenses for highway safety staff.

(Sec. 141) Rescinds specified funds made available in prior appropriations Acts for: (1) operations and research; (2) the National Driver Register; (3) Highway Traffic Safety Grants.

(Sec. 150) Declares that funds provided in this Act for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation shall immediately cease to be available to the Corporation in the event that the Corporation contracts to have services provided at or from any location outside the United States. Defines any such service as one that was, as of July 1, 2006, performed by a full-time or part-time Amtrak employee whose base of employment is located within the United States.

(Sec. 151) Requires the Federal Railroad Administrator to report to the congressional appropriations committees on efforts at improving the on-time performance of Amtrak intercity rail service operating on non-Amtrak owned property.

(Sec. 152) Authorizes the Secretary to purchase promotional items of nominal value for use in public outreach activities to carry out solutions to the railroad grade crossing problem and measures to protect pedestrians in densely populated areas along railroad rights of way.

(Sec. 153) Declares that any lease or contract entered into between the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) and the state of Maryland or any of its departments or agencies shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia.

(Sec. 160) The limitations on obligations for the programs of the FTA shall not apply to any grant authority previously made available for obligation, or to any other authority previously made available for obligation.

(Sec. 161) Declares that funds made available by this Act for specified FTA capital investment grants and bus and bus facilities projects which are not obligated by September 30, 2010, and other recoveries, shall be made available for other capital investment grant projects.

(Sec. 162) Authorizes certain transfers of any public transportation funds appropriated before October 1, 2007, that remain available for expenditure.

(Sec. 163) Authorizes the use of unobligated FTA capital investment grants funds for new fixed guideway systems projects.

(Sec. 164) Directs the Secretary to amend the Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Central Link Initial Segment Project to allow the use of any funds remaining in the current budget to support completion of the Airport Link extension.

(Sec. 165) Makes available for bus and bus facilities certain funds provided for a high capacity fixed guideway light rail and mass transit project for the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

(Sec. 166) Makes available for public transportation buses (and related equipment and facilities) and intermodal terminals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico, any unobligated FTA capital investment grant funds available for the Commuter Rail, Albuquerque to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

(Sec. 167) Declares that certain funds made available for the Las Vegas Resort Corridor Fixed Guideway Project, the CATRAIL RTC Rail Project, and the Las Vegas, Nevada Monorail Project in Nevada may be made available to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada for specified bus or bus facilities projects.

(Sec. 168) Amends the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1986, with respect an Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) contract with the Southern California Rapid Transit District for a study of the potential methane gas risks related to a proposed alignment of the Metro Rail project beyond the Minimum Operable Segment, MOS-1. Repeals the prohibition against the availability of certain related funds for any segment of the downtown Los Angeles to San Francisco Valley Metro Transit Rail project until the Southern California Rapid Transit District commits to UMTA that no part of the Metro Rail project will tunnel into or through any designated potential or high potential risk zone (for a methane gas explosion and fire in the Fairfax area).

(Sec. 171) Prohibits obligations from the construction fund established by the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, or otherwise, in excess of the appropriations and limitations contained in this or any prior appropriations Act.

(Sec. 182) Prohibits the availability of the funds in this Act for salaries and expenses of more than 110 political and Presidential appointees in the Department of Transportation. Prohibits any assignment on temporary detail outside the Department of any of such appointees.

(Sec. 183) Prohibits the use of funds in this Act to implement establishment in the Department of Transportation of a National Highway Safety Advisory Committee.

(Sec. 184) Prohibits any recipient of funds made available in this Act from disseminating personal information obtained by a state department of motor vehicles in connection with a motor vehicle record, except as permitted under specified federal criminal law.

Prohibits the Secretary, however, from withholding funds provided in this Act for any grantee if a state fails to comply with this prohibition.

(Sec. 186) Authorizes the Secretary to allow the issuer of any preferred stock heretofore sold to the Department to redeem or repurchase it upon the payment to the Department of an amount the Secretary determines.

(Sec. 187) Requires the Secretary to notify the congressional appropriations committees at least three full business days before announcing any discretionary grant award, letter of intent, or full funding grant agreement totaling $1,000,000 or more from certain grant programs, including the federal highway emergency relief program, the FAA airport improvement program, or any FTA program other than the formula grants and fixed guideway modernization programs.

(Sec. 189) Provides for the use of funds that the Secretary determines represent improper payments by the Department to a third party contractor under a financial assistance award, which are recovered pursuant to law.

(Sec. 191) Declares that when the Surface Transportation Board is considering cases, matters, or declaratory orders involving a railroad, or an entity claiming or seeking authority to operate as a railroad, and the transportation of solid waste, it shall consider any activity involving the receipt, delivery, sorting, handling or transfer in-transit outside of a sealed container, storage other than inside a sealed container, or other processing of solid waste to be an activity over which the Board does not have jurisdiction.

(Sec. 192) Prohibits the use of funds by the Surface Transportation Board to charge or collect any filing fee for rate complaints filed with the Board in an amount in excess of that authorized for district court civil suit filing fees under the federal judicial code.

(Sec. 193) Directs the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation to investigate and report to specified congressional committees on rail service disruptions and incidents since 2004 in which rail carriers failed to timely deliver various commodities, such as coal, wheat, ethanol, and lumber.

Title II: Department of Housing and Urban Development - Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2008 - Makes appropriations for FY2008 to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including: (1) the Office of the Secretary; (2) specified executive operations and administrative activities; (3) public and Indian housing; (4) community planning and development; (5) housing programs; (6) the Federal Housing Administration (FHA); (7) the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae); (8) policy development and research; (9) fair housing and equal opportunity; (10) the Office of Lead Hazard Control; and (11) the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

(Sec. 201) Requires rescission of 50% of the amounts of budget authority (or in lieu thereof remittance to the Treasury of 50% of the associated cash amounts) that are recaptured from certain state-, local-government, or local housing agency-financed projects under the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1988. Requires the use of such recaptured budget authority or funds, as well as any budget authority or cash recaptured and not rescinded or remitted to the Treasury, by state housing finance agencies or local governments or local housing agencies with projects approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (the Secretary in this title) for which settlement occurred after January 1, 1992.

Authorizes the Secretary, all the same, to award up to 15% of the budget authority or cash recaptured and not rescinded or remitted to the Treasury to provide project owners with incentives to refinance their projects at a lower interest rate.

(Sec. 202) Prohibits the use of funds during FY2008 to investigate or prosecute under the Fair Housing Act any otherwise lawful activity engaged in by one or more persons, including the filing or maintaining of a non-frivolous legal action, that is engaged in solely for the purpose of achieving or preventing action by a government official or entity, or a court of competent jurisdiction.

(Sec. 203) Directs the Secretary to make a grant under certain authority of the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act for any state that: (1) received an allocation in a prior fiscal year; but (2) is not otherwise eligible for an FY2008 allocation because the areas in the State outside of qualifying metropolitan statistical areas do not have the number of cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) otherwise required.

Prescribes a formula for the allocation of such grants to Jersey City and Paterson, New Jersey.

(Sec. 204) Requires any grant, cooperative agreement, or other assistance made pursuant to this title to be made on a competitive basis and in accordance with the Department of Housing and Urban Development Reform Act of 1989.

(Sec. 205) Makes certain funds available, without regard to limitations on administrative expenses, for: (1) legal services on a contract or fee basis; and (2) payment for services and facilities of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), the Federal Financing Bank, Federal Reserve banks, Federal Home Loan banks, and any bank insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Act.

(Sec. 207) Authorizes any HUD corporations and agencies subject to the Government Corporation Control Act, as amended, to make expenditures, contracts, and commitments without regard to fiscal year limitations as may be necessary in carrying out the programs set forth in their FY 2008 budgets. Limits the use of collections of these corporations and agencies for new loan or mortgage purchase commitments only to the extent expressly provided for in this Act, except for their the mortgage insurance or guaranty operations, or where loans or mortgage purchases are necessary to protect the financial interest of the U.S. government.

(Sec. 208) Prohibits the obligation or expenditure of the funds provided in this title for technical assistance, training, or management improvements unless HUD describes for the congressional appropriations committees each proposed activity and a detailed budget estimate of the associated program, project or activity costs as part of the Budget Justifications.

(Sec. 209) Directs the HUD Secretary to report quarterly to the congressional appropriations committees regarding all uncommitted, unobligated, recaptured and excess funds in each program and activity within HUD jurisdiction, along with additional, updated budget information upon request.

(Sec. 210) Requires the HUD Secretary to: (1) adjust the funds allocated for FY2008 under the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act to Wilmington, Delaware, on behalf of the Wilmington, Delaware-Maryland-New Jersey Metropolitan Division; and allocate a portion to the state of New Jersey according to a specified formula.

Directs the HUD Secretary to allocate to Wake County, North Carolina, certain funds that otherwise would be allocated for FY2008 under such Act to Raleigh, North Carolina, on behalf of the Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Authorizes the HUD Secretary to: (1) adjust FY2008 allocations under such Act, upon the written request of a grant applicant for a formula allocation on behalf of a metropolitan statistical area; and (2) designate the state or states in which the metropolitan statistical area is located as the eligible grantee(s) of the allocation.

(Sec. 211) Requires the HUD Secretary to report annually no later than August 30, 2008 and annually to the congressional appropriations committees on the number of federally assisted units under lease and their per unit cost to HUD.

(Sec. 213) Requires that incremental vouchers previously made available under the heading, "Housing Certificate Fund," or renewed under the heading, "Tenant-Based Rental Assistance," for non-elderly disabled families continue to be provided to non-elderly disabled families upon turnover.

(Sec. 214) Declares that a public housing agency (or other entity) that administers federal housing assistance for the Housing Authority of the county of Los Angeles, California, or the states of Alaska, Iowa, or Mississippi shall not be required to include a resident of public housing or a recipient of section 8 rental assistance (under the United States Housing Act of 1937) on the agency or entity board of directors (or similar governing board), as otherwise required by such Act.

Requires each such public housing agency (or other entity) to establish an advisory board, which shall meet at least quarterly, consisting of at least than six residents of public housing or section 8 rental assistance recipients to provide advice and comment on related issues.

(Sec. 215) Authorizes the Secretary for FY2008-FY2009, subject to specified conditions, to authorize the transfer of some or all project-based assistance, debt and statutorily required low-income and very low-income use restrictions, associated with one or more multifamily housing project to another multifamily housing project or projects.

(Sec. 216) Requires that the funds made available for Native American Housing Block Grants in title III of this Act be allocated to the same recipients that received funds in FY2005.

(Sec. 217) Requires that incremental vouchers made available under this Act, and previously, under the heading, "Housing Certificate Fund," or renewed under the heading, "Tenant-Based Rental Assistance," for family unification continue to be provided for family unification.

(Sec. 218) Prohibits the use of funds to develop or impose policies or procedures, including an account structure, that subjects the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) to the requirements of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990. Subjects Ginnie Mae, nonetheless, to credit subsidy budgeting or budget presentation requirements previously adopted.

(Sec. 219) Prohibits any section 8 rental assistance to any individual who: (1) is enrolled as a student at an institution of higher education; (2) is under age 24; (3) is not a veteran; (4) is unmarried; (5) does not have a dependent child; (6) is not a person with disabilities, and was not receiving section 8 assistance of November 30, 2005; and (7) is not otherwise individually eligible, or has parents who, individually or jointly, are not eligible, to receive such assistance.

Declares that, for section 8 rental assistance eligibility purposes, any financial assistance (in excess of amounts received for tuition) that an individual receives under the Higher Education Act of 1965, from private sources, or an institution of higher education shall be considered income to that individual, except for a person over age 23 with dependent children.

(Sec. 220) Requires the Secretary during FY2008, in managing and disposing of any multifamily property that is owned or held by HUD, to maintain any section 8 rental assistance payments attached to any dwelling units in the property. Authorizes the Secretary, however, to the extent that such a multifamily property is not feasible for continued section 8 payments, based on consideration of the costs of maintaining such payments or other factors, to contract, in consultation with the property tenants, for project-based rental assistance payments with an owner or owners of other existing housing properties, or provide other rental assistance.

(Sec. 221) Amends the National Housing Act with respect to non-Ginnie Mae-related mortgage insurance eligibility purposes, including insurance for cooperative housing, rehabilitation and neighborhood conservation housing, housing for elderly persons, and condominiums.

Increases from 140% to 170% in most areas, and from 170% to 215% in high cost areas, the percentage increase the Secretary may make in the dollar limitations on the estimated value per family unit of the dwelling use portion of a property or project covered by a mortgage for which insurance is sought.

(Sec. 222) Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 to extend through FY2008 the authorization of appropriations for demolition, site revitalization, replacement housing, and tenant-based assistance project grants to public housing agencies.

(Sec. 223) Authorizes public housing agencies owning and operating 500 or fewer public housing units to elect to be exempt from any asset management requirement imposed by the Secretary in connection with the operating fund rule. Provides, however, that an agency seeking a discontinuance of a reduction of subsidy under the operating fund formula shall not be exempt from asset management requirements.

(Sec. 224) Prohibits the Secretary, with respect to the use of funds for the operation, capital improvement, and management of public housing authorized by the United States Housing Act of 1937, from imposing any asset management requirement or guideline that restricts or limits in any way the use of capital funds for central office costs.

(Sec. 225) Requires the Secretary to report quarterly to congressional appropriations committees on: (1) the status of all section 8 project-based housing, including the number of all project-based units by region as well as an analysis of all federally subsidized housing being refinanced under the Mark-to-Market program; and (2) HUD's use of all sole source contracts, including terms of the contracts, cost and a substantive rationale for using a sole source contract.

(Sec. 227) Amends the United States Housing Act of 1937 with respect to the treatment of utility and waste management costs under the formula for determining the amount of assistance to public housing agencies from the Public Housing Operating Fund for the operation and management of public housing. Modifies the requirement that a public housing agency receive the full financial benefit from any reduction in the cost of utilities or waste management (savings) resulting from any contract with a third party to undertake energy conservation improvements in one or more of its public housing projects.

Authorizes extension to up to 20 years of the term of a contract currently in repayment whose term is 12 years or less, in order to permit additional energy conservation improvements without requiring the reprocurement of energy performance contractors.

(Sec. 228) Directs the Secretary to increase the number of Moving-to-Work agencies authorized under the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 by making the Alaska Public Housing Agency a Moving-to-Work Agency.

(Sec. 229) Deems to be amended with respect to specified projects the referenced statement of managers under the "Community Development Fund" heading in title II of Public Law 108-447 Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2005 (Division I of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2006 (title III of Division A of the Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006).

(Sec. 230) Authorizes the Secretary through FY2008 to insure, and enter into commitments to insure, home equity conversion mortgages for elderly homeowners.

(Sec. 231) Prohibits the Secretary from rescinding or taking any adverse action with respect to the Moving-to-Work program designation for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City based on any alleged administrative or procedural errors in making such designation.

Title III: Independent Agencies - Makes appropriations for FY2008 to: (1) the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board; (2) the Federal Maritime Commission; (3) the National Transportation Safety Board; (4) the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; and (5) the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Title IV: General Provisions This Act - Specifies certain uses and limits on or prohibitions against the use of funds appropriated by this Act.

(Sec. 401) Requires any sums necessary for FY2008 pay raises for programs funded in this Act to be absorbed within the levels appropriated in this or previous appropriations Acts.

(Sec. 402) Prohibits the use of funds for the planning or execution of any program to pay the expenses of, or otherwise compensate, nonfederal parties intervening in regulatory or adjudicatory proceedings funded in this Act.

(Sec. 407) Requires all federal agencies and departments funded under this Act to report to the congressional appropriations committees on all sole source contracts.

(Sec. 409) Prohibits the use of funds to support any federal, state, or local projects that seek to use the power of eminent domain, unless eminent domain is employed only for a public use. Denies that public use includes economic development that primarily benefits private entities. Directs the Government Accountability Office to study and report to Congress on the nationwide use of eminent domain, including the procedures used and the results accomplished on a state-by-state basis as well as the impact on individual property owners and on the affected communities.

(Sec. 411) Prohibits the availability of funds to pay the salary for any person filling a non-temporary 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) applied for restoration to his former position within a specified length of times; and (4) been certified by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as still qualified to perform the duties of his former position; but (5) not been restored to such position.

(Sec. 412) Prohibits the expenditure of funds by any entity unless it agrees to comply with the Buy American Act, or the availability of funds to any person or entity convicted of violating such Act.