President Obama Announces a Proposal to Fund a Four Year Surface Transportation Bill at $302 Billion
On February 26, President Obama announced a proposal to fund a four year surface transportation bill that would increase spending by 22% for highways and 70% for transit over current levels. The White House provided a Fact Sheet that outlines to proposal. The current law, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) expires at the end of September. That means that a new bill or an extension must be agreed to by both Houses of Congress by that time. The President's envisions a $302 billion four year bill that builds on the substantive provisions of MAP-21. More specifically,
- Administration envisions finding an additional $150 billion for a one time infusion into the Highway Trust Fund through various tax reforms. This would cure the current shortfall and provide for an additional $90 billion dollars over current trust fund revenues, allowing for the four year $302 billion dollar bill.
- The plan highlights a “Fix-it-First” approach to encourage greater emphasis on repairing existing transportation facilities.
- The proposal would provide $206 billion for highway projects, $72 billion for transit, $19 billion for rail, and $10 billion for a multimodal freight grant program.
- The program would continue the TIFIA program at the current level of $1 billion per year.
- Also envisioned are new provisions to enhance program efficiency, improving project delivery and expediting the regulatory review process.
- The program would continue current themes of focusing on transportation design to support more resilient communities.