President's "Budget Blueprint" Is a Missed Opportunity to Offer Permanent Highway Trust Fund Solution

Fri March 17, 2017 - National Edition

The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) released the following statement about the Trump administration budget proposal:

"Encouraging as it is that the Trump administration's fiscal year 2018 Budget Blueprint includes a reference to the President's pending infrastructure package, it is disappointing that administration officials failed to include proposals to provide a permanent and sustainable solution for funding the Highway Trust Fund. As a result, the members of the Transportation Construction Coalition said the budget was a missed opportunity to address the chronic funding shortfalls that regularly threaten to undermine road, bridge and transit repair programs.

A permanent solution to the Highway Trust Fund's fiscal instability that would support the President's call for increased transportation infrastructure investment is the most effective way to achieve that goal. Since 2008, Congress has infused the trust fund with more than $140 billion in general fund transfers. While these steps have prevented dramatic reductions in federal highway and public transportation investment, the resulting uncertainty has led to project delays and diluted state efforts to implement long-term transportation improvement plans. Failure to resolve this issue once and for all prior to 2020 will require President Trump and Congress to either pass additional short-term stopgap measures or find a $110 billion off-set to pass a multi-year surface transportation bill.

Coalition members are also concerned that Budget Blueprint's cuts needed transportation investments to support increased defense and homeland security funding. Coalition members will continue to work with Congress and the Trump administration to preserve and grow federal transportation infrastructure investment as the fiscal year 2017 and 2018 appropriations process moves forward.”

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