Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) calls his budget, which was unveiled March 12, “The Path For Prosperity.” However, if certain cuts do kick in, that path might not be maintained very well.
Ryan’s plan calls for a cut in transportation spending. The Wisconsin lawmaker claims the Obama administration increased funding to the U.S. DOT by 24% during its first two years in office, and that does not include American Recovery & Reinvestment Act money. Ryan even downplayed the role road and bridge construction plays in job creation.
“The mechanisms of federal highway and transit spending have become distorted, leading to imprudent, irresponsible, and often downright wasteful spending,” Ryan said. “Further, however worthy some highway projects might be, their capacity as job creators has been vastly oversold, as demonstrated by the extravagant but unfulfilled promises that accompanied the 2009 stimulus bill, particularly with regard to high-speed rail.”
Ryan’s budget would eliminate spending for high-speed rail, and the appropriation levels for agencies like the U.S. DOT would be controlled by the committees that have jurisdiction over them.