Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Last night (12/21/20) the House and Senate passed the 5,600-page (not including accompanying Joint Explanatory Statements) Omnibus Appropriations Bill late last night. As discussed previously, the Bill includes $900 billion in COVID relief aid and several appropriation areas that include transportation and maritime-related funds. The bill also includes WRDA 2021. We have included the House summary of the WRDA legislation (only 22 pages) as it provides the most concise report on that bill.

The Omnibus Bill includes funding for many of the grant programs used by seaports including:

  • $230 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Grant Program – $205 million must be awarded to projects at coastal seaports or Great Lakes seaports.
  • $100 million for port security projects.
  • $1 billion for TIGER/BUILD grants.

As stated earlier, the COVID relief bill did not include any specific seaport funding. There are funds provided to states and local governments to help respond to COVID related emergencies similar to the previous CARES Act and the state may have the opportunity to use some of these funds to support maritime ports of entry. The $10 billion provided to state departments of transportation is for highway maintenance, but these funds may help offset losses at FDOT and free up additional dollars for other FDOT projects, potentially, seaport projects.

We will continue to review this large omnibus package, and follow the implementation of its provisions.

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