Congress passes budget resolution; cuts to transportation-related programs

News AASHTO May 06, 2005
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The budget resolution would provide room for the reauthorization of the federal highway and transit programs at a funding that level of $284 billion. However, language is included to allow that level to be increased, if additional revenues are identified for the Highway Trust Fund.

According to CQToday, the budget conference report directs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to cut $103 million in spending from FY 2002-2010. In the Senate, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee – with jurisdiction over surface transportation, primarily safety and rail – is to cut $4.8 billion; Environment and Public Works Committee $27 million; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs – which oversees mass transit – $470 million.

The $2.6 trillion budget passed the House 214-211 and 52-47 n the Senate. In the future, Congress can override those budget ceilings with a simple 60-vote majority in the Senate and by waiving a budget point of order rule if approved by the House Committee on Rules.

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), chairman of the budget committee, said the FY 2006 budget resolution intends to reduce the FY 2004 budget deficit of $521 billion by half in five years; increases defense spending by $17.1 billion; rises spending on homeland security by $1.1 billion; and extends tax cuts on dividends and capital gains and other items amounting to $70 billion. The budget also assumes revenue from leases for the controversial drilling for oil and natural gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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