The House and Senate have given final approval to a $28.9-billion spending package that includes billions of dollars this year for homeland security programs and for rebuilding New York City after the Sept.11 attacks. The legislation also restores $4.4 billion of the $8.6 billion that President Bush proposed to trim from the federal highway program for 2003.
The Senate passed the supplemental spending conference report on July 24 on a 92-7 vote. The House had approved it the previous day, 397-32. The legislation will go to President Bush, who is expected to sign it.
The Dept. of Defense gets the largest portion of the money, $14.4 billion for fighting the war against terrorists in Central Asia.
Lawmakers also allocated $6.7 billion for homeland security at various federal agencies. The Transportation Security Administration gets the biggest share in that category, receiving $3.85 billion. That includes $738 million to reconfigure airport facilities to accommodate required new baggage-screening equipment. Airports also will get $150 million from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund to reimburse them for some of their post-Sept. 11 spending on security upgrades. Seaport security will receive $125 million in grants.
New York's allocation is $5.5 billion, including $2.7 billion in relief funds to be administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $1.8 billion "to replace, rebuild or enhance mass transit lines in Manhattan.
The bill also has $211 million for State Dept. embassy projects, including $131 million for Kabul, Afghanistan, and $80 million for Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Amtrak will receive $205 million to help keep it running through September.
The measure adds $4.4 billion for federal highways, which would make the 2003 level $27.6 billion. But the package also rescinds $320 million in highway contract authority. Conferees said that cut "will have no impact on fiscal year 2002 highway construction activities, because such funds are above annual limitations on obligations and are therefore not available for obligation during fiscal year 2002."