The House Appropriations Committee released the text of its draft appropriations bill for the U.S. DOT for fiscal year 2016, according to the National Stone Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA). This legislation authorizes the highway program at $40.3 billion, the same amount as the last three years. Without more revenue going into the Highway Trust Fund, spending is limited to the existing obligations approved in the 2012 MAP-21 law.
NSSGA’s VP of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Pam Whitted stated, “Unless Congress enacts a new reauthorization law with a significant increase in obligation limits or new revenues are found for the Highway Trust Fund, the highway program will continue to be flat funded resulting in further deterioration of the system. We must keep the pressure on Congress to do its job and fix the Highway Trust Fund.”
The discretionary spending accounts are subject to the spending caps set under the Ryan-Murray budget agreement so most accounts saw a slight decrease including the Federal Aviation Administration at $16 billion. This includes $3.6 billion for the Airport Improvement Program which funds building and maintaining runways, roads and aprons at airports.
When the two types of spending are added together, the gross total U.S. DOT levels total $71.6 billion, $1 billion less than last year. Check out the details of the bill here.