Griffin Amendment Prioritizes Pipeline Safety Over Federal Transit Administration Bureaucracy

Jun 9, 2014 Issues: Energy, Transportation

LITTLE ROCK – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House passed his amendment to prioritize funding for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 4745):

“My amendment makes pipeline safety a priority by transferring $500,000 to cover operational expenses of PHMSA from the account used to fund salaries and administrative expenses at the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This eliminates needless bureaucracy at FTA, allocates additional resources to maintain the safety of America’s pipelines and continues to fund essential public transportation projects – all at no additional cost to hardworking taxpayers.”

PHMSA is the federal government’s primary agency for regulating and ensuring the safe and secure movement of oil and petroleum products to industry and consumers through America’s interstate pipelines.

The House passed Rep. Griffin’s amendment by voice vote, and final passage of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act (H.R. 4745) could come as early as Tuesday.

The amendment is fully offset by cutting $500,000 from the $103 million provided in H.R. 4745 for Administrative Expenses at the Federal Transit Administration.  FTA is an agency within the Department of Transportation that provides technical and financial assistance to local public transit systems.  The Administrative Expenses account is used to fund salaries and other administrative expenses at FTA, and not any grants or funding for local public transportation programs or projects.

Last year, Rep. Griffin passed a similar amendment in the FY14 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, which later was incorporated into the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R.3547) that passed the House on January 14 and was signed into law on January 17.