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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1251 - Interstate Highway Funding Act of 1985

February 28, 1985


(Howard (D) New Jersey)

The Administration supports enactment of H.R. 1251 to approve the Interstate Cost Estimate and Interstate Substitution Cost Estimate to authorize apportionment of interstate funds for an 18-month period. The Administration would, however, oppose any changes that add to the cost of the Interstate system, revise existing programs, create new spending authorizations, or earmark funds.

(Not to be Distributed Outside Executive Office of the President)

This draft position was developed by LED in consultation with TCH (Collins/Schwartz) and the Department of Transportation (Collins, Legislative Counsel).

ICE and ISCE Approval

H.R. 1251 was reported by the House Public Works and Transportation Committee on February 27, and a copy of the reported bill is not available for review. According to DOT (Collins), however, the bill would approve the 1983 Interstate Cost Estimate (ICE) and Interstate Substitute Cost Estimate (ISCE), making the remaining $6.2 billion of 1984-85 Interstate construction and transfer funds available for obligation immediately. The bill does not approve the 1985 estimates which are necessary to release $7.8 billion in 1986-87. (S. 391 which passed the Senate on February 23 approves both the 1983 and 1985 estimates.)

There is currently a dispute between DOT and the committee over whether or not the Speaker's Boston projects to build a 4-lane tunnel to Logan Airport and depress the Central Artery (estimated Federal cost of $2.3 billion) are included in the ICE. This dispute centers on an ICE apportionment table, which was prepared by DOT, that is cited by reference in H.R. 1251. DOT is striving to ensure that, prior to the enrollment of a bill, the legislative history makes clear that H.R. 1251 does not include the Speaker's Boston projects.

Previous Administration Positions in the 98th Congress and 99th Congress

The Administration consistently supported a "clean" ICE bill during the 98th Congress, but advised the Congress that the President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto a bill which contained numerous special highway projects authorizations.

Prior to Senate floor action on S. 391 in the present Congress, the Administration supported enactment of a clean ICE and ISCE to authorize removal of congressional withholding of funds through 1987. However, the Administration urged passage of S.J. Res. 44 or S. 279, in lieu of S. 391, because S. 391 included additional spending provisions.


Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 1251 - Interstate Highway Funding Act of 1985 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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