Late in the evening on January 5, 2023, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) eked out victory on the 15th ballot, claiming the House of Representative Speakership. McCarthy, after a four-day battle to win, was able to claim the House’s top gavel after Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Bob Good (R-Va.) and Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) flipped from no to “present” over the course of two late-night ballots. With the Speaker of the House race completed, the 118th Congress can now finalize Committee assignments and get to work on legislative matters.
On December 29, 2022, USDOT notified Congress of its selected projects for the FY 2022 MEGA grants. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created the MEGA projects competitive grant program (the National Infrastructure Project Assistance Program), funded at $5 billion total over FY22-26, or $1 billion annually. The U.S. Department of Transportation is obligated to give Congress 30 days advanced notice before making award announcements and in that period of time Congress can pass a joint resolution to deny any individual project funding (highly unlikely). The list of successful projects is below:
Fiscal Year 2022 Mega Grant Awards (in order of award size)
1. CA – Watsonville-Cruz Corridor, Santa Cruz County ($30 million)
2. MS – I-10 Widening, Harrison/Hancock Counties ($60 million)
3. PA – Roosevelt Boulevard, Philadelphia ($78 million)
4. OK – Tulsa I-44/ US-75 Interchange ($85 million)
5. NC – U.S. 64 Alligator River Bridge, Dare/Tyrrell Counties ($110 million)
6. IL – Chicago Metra UP North Rebuild, Fullerton to Addison ($117 million)
7. LA – I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge ($150 million)
8. OH/ KY – Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project ($250 million)
9. NY – Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3 ($292 million)
On December 21, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Biden-Harris Administration had awarded $273.9 million from the new Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program (Rural) to help communities around the US complete transportation projects that will increase connectivity, improve safety and reliability, support regional economic growth, and improve the quality of life for people living in rural areas. Due to decades of disinvestment, around 13% of rural roads and 10% of off-system bridges, most of which are in rural areas, are in poor condition. One of the recipients is the Downtown Moorhead (MN) Grade Separation Project. The project will construct two underpasses that will eliminate two at-grade railroad crossings on 11th street in Downtown Moorhead, as part of a comprehensive project to improve US Highway 10 and US Highway 75 through downtown Moorhead. To view a full list of the awardees, please click here.