Public Laws

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
Public Law 105-178

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (Public Law 105-178) 112 Stat. 107; June 9, 1998; H.R. 2400 (105th Congress) 

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Note: See also 112 Stat. 118, 130, 488, and 492.

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General  Information

Public Law: Pub. L. 105-178
Stat. At Large:
112 Stat. 107
Enacted:
June 9, 1998
Bill Number:
H.R. 2400 (105th Congress)
Sponsor:  Rep. Shuster, Bud [R-PA-9] 
Note:
This bill set up the “revenue-aligned budget authority” procedure by which levels for the Highway Trust Fund were set. These were given a separate limit in the discretionary spending limits under section 251 (BBEDCA), but it set a minimum level of spending rather than a  top limitation. It interacted with the obligation levels set in the Transportation bills and clause 3 of rule XXI of the House Rules. 


Applicable Text of Statute

transportation equity act

Freestanding Provisions from TEA 21 setting obligation limitations on appropriations governing consideration of transportation appropriation Acts in the House of Representatives:

sec. 1102. obligation ceiling.

(a) General Limitation.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law but subject to subsections (g) and (h), the obligations for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs shall not exceed—

(1) $21,500,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;

(2) $25,431,000,000 for fiscal year 1999;

(3) $26,155,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;

(4) $26,651,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;

(5) $27,235,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; and

(6) $27,681,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.

(b) Exceptions.—The limitations under subsection (a) shall not apply to obligations—

(1) under section 125 of title 23, United States Code;

(2) under section 147 of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1978;

(3) under section 9 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1981;

(4) under sections 131(b) and 131(j) of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982;

(5) under sections 149(b) and 149(c) of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987;

(6) under sections 1103 through 1108 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991;

(7) under section 157 of title 23, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act; and

(8) under section 105 of title 23, United States Code (but, for each of fiscal years 1998 through 2007), only in an amount equal to $639,000,000 per fiscal year.

(c) Distribution Of Obligation Authority.—For each of fiscal years 1998 through 2003, the Secretary shall—

(1) not distribute obligation authority provided by subsection (a) for such fiscal year for amounts authorized for administrative expenses and programs funded from the administrative takedown authorized by section 104(a) of title 23, United States Code, and amounts authorized for the highway use tax evasion program and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics;

(2) not distribute an amount of obligation authority provided by subsection (a) that is equal to the unobligated balance of amounts made available from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) for Federal-aid highway and highway safety programs for previous fiscal years the funds for which are allocated by the Secretary;

(3) determine the ratio that—

(A) the obligation authority provided by subsection (a) for such fiscal year less the aggregate of amounts not distributed under paragraphs (1) and (2), bears to

(B) the total of the sums authorized to be appropriated for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs (other than sums authorized to be appropriated for sections set forth in paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (b) and sums authorized to be appropriated for section 105 of title 23, United States Code, equal to the amount referred to in subsection (b)(8)) for such fiscal year less the aggregate of the amounts not distributed under paragraph (1) of this subsection;

(4) distribute the obligation authority provided by subsection (a) less the aggregate amounts not distributed under paragraphs (1) and (2) for section 117 of title 23, United States Code (relating to high priority projects program), section 201 of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge Authority Act of 1995, and $2,000,000,000 for such fiscal year under section 105 of such title (relating to minimum guarantee) so that amount of obligation authority available for each of such sections is equal to the amount determined by multiplying the ratio determined under paragraph (3) by the sums authorized to be appropriated for such section (except in the case of section 105, $2,000,000,000) for such fiscal year;

(5) distribute the obligation authority provided by subsection (a) less the aggregate amounts not distributed under paragraphs (1) and (2) and amounts distributed under paragraph (4) for each of the programs that are allocated by the Secretary under this Act and title 23, United States Code (other than activities to which paragraph (1) applies and programs to which paragraph (4) applies) by multiplying the ratio determined under paragraph (3) by the sums authorized to be appropriated for such program for such fiscal year; and

(6) distribute the obligation authority provided by subsection (a) less the aggregate amounts not distributed under paragraphs (1) and (2) and amounts distributed under paragraphs (4) and (5) for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs (other than the minimum guarantee program, but only to the extent that amounts apportioned for the minimum guarantee program for such fiscal year exceed $2,639,000,000, and the Appalachian development highway system program) that are apportioned by the Secretary under this Act and title 23, United States Code, in the ratio that—

(A) sums authorized to be appropriated for such programs that are apportioned to each State for such fiscal year, bear to

(B) the total of the sums authorized to be appropriated for such programs that are apportioned to all States for such fiscal year.

(d) Redistribution of Unused Obligation Authority.—Notwithstanding subsection (c), the Secretary shall after August 1 of each of fiscal years 1998 through 2003 revise a distribution of the obligation authority made available under subsection (c) if a State will not obligate the amount distributed during that fiscal year and redistribute sufficient amounts to those States able to obligate amounts in addition to those previously distributed during that fiscal year giving priority to those States having large unobligated balances of funds apportioned under sections 104 and 144 of title 23, United States Code, under section 160 of title 23, United States Code (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act), and under section 1015 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Act of 1991 (105 Stat. 1943–1945).

(e) Applicability of Obligation Limitations To Transportation Research Programs.—Obligation limitations imposed by subsection (a) shall apply to transportation research programs carried out under chapter 3 of title 23, United States Code, and under title VI of this Act.

(f) Redistribution of Certain Authorized Funds.—Not later than 30 days after the date of the distribution of obligation authority under subsection (c) for each of fiscal years 1998 through 2003, the Secretary shall distribute to the States any funds (1) that are authorized to be appropriated for such fiscal year for Federal aid highway programs (other than the program under section 160 of title 23, United States Code) and for carrying out subchapter I of chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code, and chapter 4 of title 23, United States Code, and (2) that the Secretary determines will not be allocated to the States, and will not be available for obligation, in such fiscal year due to the imposition of any obligation limitation for such fiscal year. Such distribution to the States shall be made in the same ratio as the distribution of obligation authority under subsection (c)(6). The funds so distributed shall be available for any purposes described in section 133(b) of title 23, United States Code.

(g) Special Rule.—Obligation authority distributed for a fiscal year under subsection (c)(4) for a section set forth in subsection (c)(4) shall remain available until used for obligation of funds for such section and shall be in addition to the amount of any limitation imposed on obligations for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs for future fiscal years.

(h) Increase In Obligation Limit.—Limitations on obligations imposed by subsection (a) for a fiscal year shall be increased by an amount equal to the amount determined pursuant to section 251(b)(1)(B)(ii)(I)(cc) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901(b)(2)(B)(ii)(I)(cc)) for such fiscal year. Any such increase shall be distributed in accordance with this section.

(i) Limitations On Obligations For Administrative Expenses.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the total amount of all obligations under section 104(a) of title 23, United States Code, shall not exceed—

(1) $320,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;

(2) $350,000,000 for fiscal year 1999;

(3) $370,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;

(4) $390,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;

(5) $410,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; and

(6) $430,000,000 for fiscal year 2003.

Amendments to Title 23 of the U.S. Code: 

sec. 1105. revenue aligned budget authority.

(a) In General.—Chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by striking section 110 and inserting the following:

‘‘§ 110. Revenue aligned budget authority

‘‘(a) Determination of Amount.—On October 15 of fiscal year 1999, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary shall allocate an amount of funds equal to the amount determined pursuant to section 251(b)(1)(B)(I)(cc) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901(b)(2)(B)(I)(cc)).

‘‘(b) General Distribution.—The Secretary shall—

‘‘(1) determine the ratio that—

‘‘(A) the sums authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) for each of the for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs (other than the minimum guarantee program) for which funds are allocated from such Trust Fund by the Secretary under this title and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century for a fiscal year, bears to

‘‘(B) the total of all sums authorized to be appropriated from such Trust Fund for such programs for such fiscal year;

‘‘(2) multiply the ratio determined under paragraph (1) by the total amount of funds to be allocated under subsection (a) for such fiscal year;

‘‘(3) allocate the amount determined under paragraph (2) among such programs in the ratio that—

‘‘(A) the sums authorized to be appropriated from such Trust Fund for each of such programs for such fiscal year, bears to

‘‘(B) the sums authorized to be appropriated from such Trust Fund for all such programs for such fiscal year; and

‘‘(4) allocate the remainder of the funds to be allocated under subsection (a) for such fiscal year to the States in the ratio that—

‘‘(A) the total of all funds authorized to be appropriated from such Trust Fund for Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs that are apportioned to each State for such fiscal year but for this section, bears to

‘‘(B) the total of all funds authorized to be appropriated from such Trust Fund for such programs that are apportioned to all States for such fiscal year but for this section.

‘‘(c) State Programmatic Distribution.—Of the funds to be apportioned to each State under subsection (b)(4) for a fiscal year, the Secretary shall ensure that such funds are apportioned for the Interstate Maintenance program, the National Highway System program, the bridge program, the surface transportation program, and the congestion mitigation air quality improvement program in the same ratio that each State is apportioned funds for such programs for such fiscal year but for this section.

‘‘(d) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated from the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section for fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1998.’’.

(b) Conforming Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 1 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to section 110 and inserting the following:

‘‘110. Revenue aligned budget authority.’’.

Amendments to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985

TITLE VIII—TRANSPORTATION DISCRETIONARY SPENDING GUARANTEE AND BUDGET OFFSETS

Subtitle A—Transportation Discretionary Spending Guarantee

sec. 8101. discretionary spending categories.

(a) Establishment of Separate Categories.—Section 251(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended as follows:

(1) FY1999.—In paragraph (3), strike ‘‘and’’ at the end of subparagraph (B) and after subparagraph (C) add the following new subparagraphs:

‘‘(D) for the highway category: $21,885,000,000 in outlays; and

‘‘(E) for the mass transit category: $4,401,000,000 in outlays;’’.

(2) FY2000.—In paragraph (4), strike ‘‘and’’ at the end of subparagraph (A) and at the end add the following new subparagraphs:

‘‘(C) for the highway category: $24,436,000,000 in outlays; and

‘‘(D) for the mass transit category: $4,761,000,000 in outlays;’’.

(3) FY2001.—In paragraph (5), strike the comma and insert ‘‘—’’ after ‘‘2001’’, insert ‘‘(A)’’ before ‘‘for’’ and indent the new subparagraph and move it 2 ems to the right, strike ‘‘and’’ at the end of such subparagraph, and at the end add the following new subparagraphs:

‘‘(B) for the highway category: $26,204,000,000 in outlays; and

‘‘(C) for the mass transit category: $5,190,000,000 in outlays;’’.

(4) FY2002.—In paragraph (6), strike the comma and insert ‘‘—’’ after ‘‘2002’’, insert ‘‘(A)’’ before ‘‘for’’, indent the new subparagraph and move it 2 ems to the right, and add at the end the following new subparagraphs:

‘‘(B) for the highway category: $26,977,000,000 in outlays; and

‘‘(C) for the mass transit category: $5,709,000,000 in outlays; and’’.

(5) FY2003.—After paragraph (6), add the following new paragraph:

‘‘(7) with respect to fiscal year 2003—

‘‘(A) for the highway category: $27,728,000,000 in outlays; and

‘‘(B) for the mass transit category: $6,256,000,000 in outlays.’’.

(b) Offsetting Adjustment in Discretionary Spending Limits.—

(1) Adjustment of discretionary spending limit for fy1999.—The discretionary spending limit set forth in section 251(c)(3)(B) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as adjusted in conformance with section 251(b) of that Act, is reduced by $859,000,000 in new budget authority and $25,173,000,000 in outlays.

(2) Adjustment of discretionary spending limit for fy2000.—The discretionary spending limit set forth in section 251(c)(4)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as adjusted in conformance with section 251(b) of that Act, is reduced by $859,000,000 in new budget authority and $26,045,000,000 in outlays.

(3) Adjustment of discretionary spending limit for fy2001.—The discretionary spending limit set forth in section 251(c)(5)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as adjusted in conformance with section 251(b) of that Act, is reduced by $859,000,000 in new budget authority and $26,329,000,000 in outlays.

(4) Adjustment of discretionary spending limit for fy2002.—The discretionary spending limit set forth in section 251(c)(6)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as adjusted in conformance with section 251(b) of that Act, is reduced by $859,000,000 in new budget authority and $26,675,000,000 in outlays.

(c) Definitions of Highway Category and Mass Transit Category.—Section 250(c)(4) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended by inserting ‘‘(A)’’ after ‘‘(4)’’ and by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:

‘‘(B) The term ‘highway category’ refers to the following budget accounts or portions thereof that are subject to the obligation limitations on contract authority set forth in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century:

‘‘(i) 69–8083–0–7–401 (Federal-Aid Highways).

‘‘(ii) 69–8020–0–7–401 (Highway Traffic Safety Grants).

‘‘(iii) 69–8048–0–7–401 (National Motor Carrier Safety Program).

‘‘(iv) 69–8016–0–7–401 (Operations and Research NHTSA).

‘‘(C) The term ‘mass transit category’ refers to the following budget accounts or portions thereof that are subject to the obligation limitations on contract authority provided in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century and for which appropriations are provided pursuant to authorizations contained in that Act (except that appropriations provided pursuant to section 5338(h) of title 49, United States Code, as amended by this section, shall not be included in this category):

‘‘(i) 69–8191–0–7–401 (Mass Transit Capital Fund).

‘‘(ii) 69–8350–0–7–401 (Trust Fund Share of Expenses).

‘‘(iii) 69–1129–0–1–401 (Formula Grants).

‘‘(iv) 69–1120–0–1–401 (Administrative Expenses).

‘‘(v) 69–1136–0–1–401 (University Transportation Centers).

‘‘(vi) 69–1137–0–1–401 (Transit Planning and Research).

‘‘(D) Special rule.—(i) Any outlays in excess of the discretionary spending limit set forth in section 251(c) for the highway or mass transit category, as adjusted, for the budget year shall be considered nondefense category outlays or discretionary category outlays.

‘‘(ii) If the obligation limitations for accounts in the highway or mass transit category provided in an appropriation Act for a fiscal year exceed the obligation limitations set forth in section 8103 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century for that year, as adjusted, the estimated outlays flowing for each outyear from such excess obligations calculated pursuant to clause (iii) shall be attributed to the discretionary category in that outyear.

‘‘(iii) For purposes of clause (ii), outlays from excess obligations shall be determined using the average of the spendout rates for that category in the baseline.’’.

(d) Adjustment To Highway and Mass Transit Categories.—Section 251(b)(1) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended by—

(1) striking ‘‘When’’ and inserting:

‘‘(A) Concepts and definitions.—When’’; and

(2) adding at the end the following:

‘‘(B) Adjustment to align highway spending with revenues.—(i) When the President submits the budget under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, OMB shall calculate and the budget shall include adjustments to the highway category for the budget year and each outyear as provided in clause (ii)(I)(cc).

‘‘(ii)(I)(aa) OMB shall take the actual level of highway receipts for the year before the current year and subtract the sum of the estimated level of highway receipts in subclause (II) plus any amount previously calculated under item (bb) for that year.

‘‘(bb) OMB shall take the current estimate of highway receipts for the budget year and subtract the estimated level of receipts for that year.

‘‘(cc) OMB shall take the sum of the amounts calculated under items (aa) and (bb), add that sum to the amount of obligations set forth in section 8103 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century for the highway category for the budget year, and calculate the outlay change resulting from that change in obligations relative to that amount for the budget year and each outyear using current estimates. After making the calculation under the preceding sentence, OMB shall adjust the amount of obligations set forth in that section for the budget year by adding the sum of the amounts calculated under items (aa) and (bb).

‘‘(II) The estimated level of highway receipts for the purposes of this clause are—

‘‘(aa) for fiscal year 1998, $22,164,000,000;

‘‘(bb) for fiscal year 1999, $32,619,000,000;

‘‘(cc) for fiscal year 2000, $28,066,000,000;

‘‘(dd) for fiscal year 2001, $28,506,000,000;

‘‘(ee) for fiscal year 2002, $28,972,000,000; and

‘‘(ff) for fiscal year 2003, $29,471,000,000.

‘‘(III) In this clause, the term ‘highway receipts’ means the governmental receipts credited to the highway account of the Highway Trust Fund.

‘‘(C)(i) In addition to the adjustment required by subparagraph (B), when the President submits the budget under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, or 2003, OMB shall calculate and the budget shall include for the budget year and each outyear an adjustment to the limits on outlays for the highway category and the mass transit category equal to—

‘‘(I) the outlays for the applicable category calculated assuming obligation levels consistent with the estimates prepared pursuant to subparagraph (D), as adjusted, using current technical assumptions; minus

‘‘(II) the outlays for the applicable category set forth in the subparagraph (D) estimates, as adjusted.

‘‘(ii) The adjustment made pursuant to clause (i) in the fiscal years 2002 and 2003 budget submissions of the President under section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, shall not exceed 4 percent plus cumulative carryovers. In this clause, the term ‘cumulative carryovers’ means the total of each amount by which outlays for the highway and mass transit category for any fiscal year are less than the outlay limit for that category, as adjusted, for that year less any amount of carryover used in the previous year.

‘‘(D)(i) When OMB and CBO submit their final sequester report for fiscal year 1999, that report shall include an estimate of the outlays for each of the categories that would result in fiscal years 2000 through 2003 from obligations at the levels specified in section 8103 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century using current assumptions.

‘‘(ii) When the President submits the budget under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, for fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, or 2003, OMB shall adjust the estimates made in clause (i) by the adjustments by subparagraphs (B) and (C).

‘‘(E) OMB shall consult with the Committees on the Budget and include a report on adjustments under subparagraphs (B) and (C) in the preview report.’’.

(e) Enforcement of Guarantee.—Rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

‘‘9. It shall not be in order to consider any bill or joint resolution, or any amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that would cause obligation limitations to be below the level for any fiscal year set forth in section 8103 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, as adjusted, for the highway category or the mass transit category, as applicable.’’.

sec. 8102. conforming the paygo scorecard with this act.

Upon the enactment of this Act, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall not make any estimates under section 252(d) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 of changes in direct spending outlays and receipts for any fiscal year resulting from this title.

sec. 8103. level of obligation limitations.

(a) Highway Category.—For the purposes of section 251(b) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the level of obligation limitations for the highway category is—

(1) for fiscal year 1999, $25,883,000,000;

(2) for fiscal year 2000, $26,629,000,000;

(3) for fiscal year 2001, $27,158,000,000;

(4) for fiscal year 2002, $27,767,000,000; and

(5) for fiscal year 2003, $28,233,000,000.

(b) Mass Transit Category.—For the purposes of section 251(b) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the level of obligation limitations for the mass transit category is—

(1) for fiscal year 1999, $5,365,000,000;

(2) for fiscal year 2000, $5,797,000,000;

(3) for fiscal year 2001, $6,271,000,000;

(4) for fiscal year 2002, $6,747,000,000; and

(5) for fiscal year 2003, $7,226,000,000.

For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘‘obligation limitations’’ means the sum of budget authority and obligation limitations.

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