On April 9, President George W. Bush sent his official Fiscal Year 2002 Budget to Capitol Hill. Bush has insisted that his budget not increase federal government spending by more than four percent over the previous year.
For construction, the budget provides some increases and some decreases. Several priorities of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) have received funding increases. Included in the Bush budget are requests for record funding of transportation programs (highways, aviation, and transit); increases in military construction programs; General Services Administration repairs; Embassy Security programs; and Veterans’ Affairs construction programs. On the negative side, Army Corps of Engineers funding is cut; Clean Water State Revolving Funds; and HUD Community Development Grants also are reduced.
Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of AGC said, “President Bush’s budget proposal is a good start to addressing the tremendous investment that is needed for our nation’s infrastructure. President Bush is an advocate for improving our nation’s quality of life. Improving our infrastructure is essential to improving our lives. Whether it’s the highways we drive on, the water we drink or swim in, or the buildings we work in, investing in America’s infrastructure is money well spent.”
• Eliminates the “Death Tax.” The Administration’s budget repeals the estate “death tax,” AGC’s number one legislative priority.
• Highlights the need for investment in highways and bridges. The Bush budget documents the annual cost to simply maintain the 1997 physical condition of the nation’s highways at $50.8 billion (in 1997 dollars). The annual cost to maintain our bridges is $5.8 billion (in 1997 dollars).
• Bush budget keeps the promises of TEA-21 and AIR-21. The budget proposes the funding required for highway and aviation programs. For highways, the budget spends all the revenue coming into the Highway Trust Fund, including the additional $4.5 billion in higher-than-estimated gasoline tax receipts. For aviation, the budget proposes the $3.3 billion for the Airport Improvement Program as called for in AIR-21.
• Trust Fund Balances Continue to Grow. Although the highway and aviation programs are presently witnessing increased funding, the Bush budget forecasts growing surpluses for the highway and aviation trust funds. The Highway Trust Fund balance swells by $15 billion by FY2006. The Aviation Trust Fund increases by $7.3 by 2006.
The following is the funding provided for federal construction programs in
President Bush’s FY 2002 Budget proposal and how that funding compares to this
year’s FY 2001 allocations:
Item Budget Amount Increase/Decrease
Highway Program $32.2 billion $ 1 billion increase
Airport Improvement Program (AIP) 3.3 billion 1 billion increase
Transit Program 6.7 billion 400 million increase
Wastewater SRF 850 million 500 million decrease
Drinking Water SRF 823 million 2 million decrease
Military Construction 4.5 billion 300 million increase
Military Family Housing 968 million 17 million increase
Army Corps General Construction 1.3 billion 400 million decrease
Army Corps Operation and Maintenance 1.75 billion 150 million decrease
Flood Control Mississippi River and Trib. 280 million 67 million decrease
HUD Community Development Grants 4.7 billion 300 million decrease
HOME Investment 1.8 billion No Change
Veterans’ Affairs, Major Construction 183 million 117 million increase
GSA General Construction 386 million 86 million decrease
GSA Repairs and Alterations 827 million 156 million increase
Embassy Security, Construction and Maintenance 1.3 billion 300 million increase
Federal Prison Construction 833million 3 million decrease
Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund 167 million 35 million decrease
Export Import Bank 633 million 232 million decrease For more information, visit www.agc.org.
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