Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is a funding and authorization bill to govern United States federal surface transportation spending. It was passed by Congress on December 3, 2015, and President Barack Obama signed it on December 4.[1][2] The vote was 359–65 in the House of Representatives and 83–16 in the United States Senate.[1][3]

Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act
Great Seal of the United States
Other short titles
  • Federal Public Transportation Act of 2015
  • Transportation for Tomorrow Act of 2015
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2015
  • Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015
  • Track, Railroad, and Infrastructure Network Act
  • Railroad Infrastructure Financing Improvement Act
  • Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2015
  • Driver Privacy Act of 2015
  • Safety Through Informed Consumers Act of 2015
  • Tire Efficiency, Safety, and Registration Act of 2015
  • Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act
  • Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015
  • State Licensing Efficiency Act of 2015
  • Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act of 2015
Long titleAn Act to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways, highway safety programs, and transit programs, and for other purposes
NicknamesFAST Act
Enacted bythe 114th United States Congress
EffectiveDecember 4, 2015
Citations
Public lawPub.L. 114–94
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the House as "Hire More Heroes Act of 2015" (H.R. 22) by Rodney Davis (RIL) on January 6, 2015
  • Passed the House on December 3, 2015 (359-65)
  • Passed the Senate on December 3, 2015 (83-16)
  • Signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 4, 2015

The $305 billion, five-year bill is funded without increasing transportation user fees.[4] (The federal gas tax was last raised in 1993.[5]) Instead, funds were generated through changes to passport rules, Federal Reserve Bank dividends, and privatized tax collection.[1][6]

In Section 6021, Congress asked the Transportation Research Board to conduct a study of the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Interstate Highway System to fulfill its role as a crucial national asset, serving the needs of people, cities and towns, businesses, and the military while remaining the safest highway network in the country. The subsequent 2019 report, "Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future," recommends actions Congress could take.[7]

Unrelated provisionsEdit

  • This law authorizes the Export-Import Bank of the United States through 2019.[2]
  • New crop insurance funding is approved.[8]
  • Emigrant Savings Bank would have been exempted from certain provisions of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[9] This was not included in the final bill that was passed into law.[10]
  • The Act also includes several revisions to federal securities law, including Section 76001 of the Act. This provision creates a new Section 4(a)(7) of the Securities Act of 1933, a new exemption from registration under that act intended to facilitate secondary trading of private company securities among accredited investors. By doing so, Congress and the President hoped to support smaller, nonpublic companies with their capital raising efforts by providing more liquidity for their securities, with reduced regulatory burdens.[11][12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Laing, Keith; Carney, Jordain (December 3, 2015). "Senate sends $305B highway bill to Obama". The Hill. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Laing, Keith (December 4, 2015). "Obama signs $305B highway bill". The Hill. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  3. ^ Frittelli, John (December 14, 2018). Federal Freight Policy: In Brief (PDF). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  4. ^ "5-Year, $300 Billion "FAST Act" Will Extend Transpo Policy Status Quo to 2020 - Streetsblog USA". 2015-12-02.
  5. ^ When did the Federal Government begin collecting the gas tax? - Ask the Rambler - Highway History - FHWA
  6. ^ Erb, Kelly Phillips. "Congress Orders IRS To Use Private Debt Collection Companies".
  7. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering (2018-12-06). Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future.
  8. ^ "Highway bill has some farm help too". Farm Futures. December 4, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Carter, Zach (December 1, 2015). "Congress Is About To Hand This Bank A Ridiculous Gift". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  10. ^ www.govinfo.gov https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-114publ94/html/PLAW-114publ94.htm. Retrieved 22 April 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ David Lynn; Anna Pinedo (December 7, 2015). "FAST Forward: A Summary of the Securities Law Provisions of the FAST Act (client alert)" (PDF). MOFO Jumpstarter. Morrison Foerster. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  12. ^ SecondMarket. "Secondary Trading Markets" (PDF). Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 21 January 2016.