President Obama’s latest budget proposal would make critical investments in infrastructure to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency. Secretary of Transportation Foxx lobbied recently for the President, saying “Our budget proposal lays the foundation for a future where our transportation infrastructure meets the demands of a growing population and an economy that depends on the free flow of freight…. We need Congress’ partnership to pass a long-term reauthorization to put Americans to work rebuilding America.”
The last year has demonstrated the pitfalls of repeated short term funding extensions. Foxx argues that this is why the President’s FY 2016 budget creates additional certainty with a six-year $478 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal that would improve America’s highways, ports, and transit networks. The proposed budget would be paid for in part with $238 billion from transition revenues generated from pro-growth business tax reform.
Foxx noted that in the last six years, Congress has passed 32 short-term measures that have failed to adequately address the needs of our aging infrastructure. To encourage private sector investment, the budget includes $1 billion annually for credit assistance for nationally or regionally significant transportation projects through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program. The budget would also create a new Office of the Assistant Secretary for Innovative Finance to manage the Department’s credit programs and help projects develop plans to utilize innovative financing.
Obama’s transportation proposal calls for spending $317 billion on U.S. roads and bridges over the next six years, including $94.7 billion during the 2016 fiscal year. The plan also includes $143 billion on federal transit projects and $18 billion on freight improvements over six-year period.