Despite significantly increasing federal spending for transportation, President Obama’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015 came under fire from industry trade groups that said it lacked real funding solutions and took a misguided approach to transportation planning.
President Obama on March 4 issued a FY2015 budget proposal that called for a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill -- half of which would be paid for by reforming the tax code and ending some tax breaks for businesses.
The plan emphasizes a "fix-it-first approach" that prioritizes fixing and upgrading existing roads, bridges and transit systems instead of expansion. This includes the creation of a new $10-billion, four-year program to address freight transportation bottlenecks.
Nearly $73 billion was allocated for surface transportation spending in FY2015, marking a 1.8 percent increase over this year’s level.
About $200 billion would go to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for highway programs.
The Administration also wants to invest $1.25 billion a year in the TIGER grant program to states and cities.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sharply criticized the proposal, saying it failed to acknowledge trucking’s role in the U.S. economy while proposing subsidies for modes that move a significantly smaller portion of America’s freight and people.
The White House plan nearly doubles funding for transit systems and intercity passenger rail to $22.3 billion, up from $12.3 billion.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) also condemned the budget for pushing old ideas to impose more taxes on the oil and natural gas industry.
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