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President Obama Proposes Major Funding Increases, Reorganization for Nation’s Transport

Author: Yonah Freemark

In the president’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget, transportation spending increased significantly even as appropriations for most other programs are reduced. Yet GOP opposition in the House of Representatives, focused on cutting government investment, will pose a major obstacle.

Today, the White House Office of Management and Budget released the President’s proposed FY 2012 budget, announcing a major increase in funding for the nation’s transportation infrastructure, both this year and over the next six.

The President, if his wishes are endorsed by the Congress, would increase federal support for transportation to $128 billion in 2012, compared to $77 billion in 2010. The Administration will begin pushing for a $556 billion six-year transportation bill, almost d0ubling what was approved in SAFETEA-LU, the last — and now expired — piece of transportation legislation. Though the White House has yet to demonstrate where it would find the funding to support these measures, the President has argued that any increased spending be compensated through reduced spending elsewhere or revenue increases.

Funding would apparently come from a “bipartisan financing for the transportation trust fund,” though no such agreement on what that means yet exists.

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