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How To Fill Out Appropriations Forms
This year at the 2022 National Bike Summit, our asks were a little different than usual. Instead of asking for co-sponsors on bills we wanted to pass, we were asking for funding for programs already written into law. The Healthy Streets Program and the Active Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Program were both created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law but just not given appropriated money, meaning they were not funded.
Our asks were to get these programs funded through the appropriations process. While the president released his budget request last week, Congress has the ultimate responsibility in deciding the level at which agencies and programs are funded. They do this through the appropriations process.
First, Congress agrees to a topline budget and then divides that budget into 13 slices. Each slice corresponds to a subcommittee on the appropriations committee which then decides how to spend their slice of the budget. The subcommittee relevant to the League’s work is the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (or THUD) subcommittee. Even Members of Congress who aren’t on the subcommittee can influence the final bill by submitting requests and priorities during the appropriations process.
That is where you come in — most Members of Congress have a way for constituents to weigh in on what they want to see funded. In general, that is through what is called an appropriations form. The form is how you can tell your Members of Congress what programs you think are important.
This year we are asking you to fill out those forms asking for funding for Healthy Streets and the ATIIP Program. Here are some slides on how to do that.