Deputy Secretary stands up for Bush Administration

News AASHTO February 21, 2003
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Appearing before the Senate Budget Committee, Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson defended the Bush Administration's FY 2004 budge

Appearing before the Senate Budget Committee, Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson defended the Bush Administration's FY 2004 budget proposal for transportation.


Jackson reiterated that the administration intends to maintain the principle of spending the motor fuel tax receipts for highways and transit. He added that the administration continues to oppose user fee increases for highways and transit. He also said the administration could only go so far in spending down the Highway Trust Fund because of the need to maintain a prudent cash balance. That balance is projected by the administration's budget to be $17 billion at the end of FY 2009 for highways.


Senate Budget Committee Chairman Don Nickles, who also is a member of the Finance Committee, said a gas tax increase is "not going to pass in my opinion." That position is contrary to the wishes of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young. It also was suggested that since the RABA provisions of TEA-21 have come to be viewed as entitlement, perhaps Congress should repeal the RABA provisions.


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