Legislation & Regulation

CONGRESS

Congressional authorizing committees establish and authorize programs, set funding levels and rules for how federal funds can be spent, and conduct oversight of federal programs and spending.  The Appropriations committee determines how much of the authorized funds to spend, and may also conduct oversight hearings on federal spending.

The Senate

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is the authorizing committee with jurisdiction over passenger (and freight) rail issues, including the Federal Railroad Administration. 

Most of the Committee’s rail-related work begins with the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

The Senate Appropriations Committee allocates federal funding. 

Most of the Committee’s rail-related work originates in the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

The House

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is the authorizing committee with jurisdiction over passenger (and freight) rail issues, including the Federal Railroad Administration. 

Most of the Committee’s rail-related work originates in the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. 

The House Appropriations Committee allocates federal funding. 

Most of the Committee’s rail-related work originates in the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

The Bicameral High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus was founded in March 2011 to advocate for increase federal support for high-speed and intercity rail service across the country.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
The CBO provides objective, nonpartisan analysis of the economic impact of Administration and Congressional proposed budgets and legislation.

USDOT

The U.S. Department of Transportation is a Cabinet agency charged with establishing and overseeing the federal transportation laws, regulations, and system and is led by Secretary Anthony Foxx. Rail issues fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Railroad Administration, led by Administrator Joseph Szabo.