WASHINGTON — The White House budget for the fiscal year 2013 includes a $476 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill to invest in highway, bridge and mass transit projects through 2018.
For 2013 alone, the budget proposes $74 billion for the Department of Transportation, a 2 percent increase from FY 2012.
President Obama also calls for $50 billion in immediate funding for 2012 to invest in critical areas of transportation to provide an economic boost.
The proposed six-year surface transportation plan would be funded by half the savings from ramping down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the other half used to pay down the national debt.
During those six years, $305 billion would go specifically to rebuilding U.S. roads and bridges and modernizing America's highway system while creating jobs — 34 percent increase form the previous transportation bill.
The budget also includes $108 billion in funding for affordable, sustainable, and efficient transit options, a 105% increase.
The House has proposed a five-year transportation budget of $260 billion. The Senate's proposal is for $109 billion over two years.
The budget debate is expected to be a hot topic in the fall election campaigns.
In a statement, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials said, "We are encouraged to see in the president's budget continued support for a multiyear, fully funded surface transportation bill.
"With the Senate and the House of Representatives also moving ahead on surface transportation bills this week, we see real progress on reauthorization that will provide states with the certainty they need to plan the right projects for their communities and that enable states to deliver projects faster."
For more on the story, check out Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.
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