Obama Proposes Doubling Highway Spending on Savings From Troop Withdrawal [View all]
By Carol Wolf - Mon Feb 13 16:15:12 GMT 2012
President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposed almost doubling the amount spent on U.S. highway, bridge and mass transit projects by using money previously spent on military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The White House budget released today proposes $476 billion over six years for surface transportation, and the president calls for an immediate $50 billion infusion in spending this year. About $38.5 billion a year would be transferred from the U.S. general fund, offset by “reduced overseas military expenditures,” the document said. The budget also provides a boost in financing authority for a transportation loan program beyond current estimated outlays.
The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program, or TIFIA, would have financing authority of about $5 billion under the president’s budget. In fiscal 2012, financing authority was $1.23 billion. The TIFIA program provides loans to help pay for toll-road and other projects in combination with private financing.
The Highway Trust Fund, which finances U.S. transportation projects using vehicle-fuel taxes, faces insolvency as soon as October, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The president and some Republicans have ruled out raising the taxes to fill the funding gap.