USDOT Gets a Funding Increase in the Federal Budget

Dec. 29, 2022
The $1.7 billion budget will help multiple agencies

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is looking for an increase in funding for fiscal year 2023 that is higher than what the White House has requested.

The $1.7 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 allocates $106.3 billion to USDOT and its agencies, $3.4 billion more than the agency received a year ago and $1.9 billion more than the White House requested. The funding will support, among other things, national infrastructure improvements via grants to states, municipalities, Tribal authorities and metropolitan planning organizations. In particular, the bill includes $800 million for national infrastructure investment grants.

“We have a big bill here, because we have big needs for our country,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“This bill is good for our economy, our competitiveness and our communities,” President Joe Biden said. “This bill is further proof that Republicans and Democrats can come together to deliver for the American people, and I’m looking forward to continued bipartisan progress in the year ahead.”

The bill allocates $873.6 million to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is part of USDOT. That includes $42.7 million for its commercial driver license implementation program, and $15 million for autonomous vehicle research in rural communities. There also is $5 million for commercial motor vehicle enforcement training and support and $1.2 million for a commercial motor vehicle operators grant program.

The bill allocates $62.9 billion to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). That total includes $3.4 billion for highway infrastructure programs/projects.

Congress also directed FHWA to continue to research, develop and deploy resilient infrastructure with new and proven technologies; develop pilot projects for wildlife crossings at roadways; and to work with state departments of transportation and local governments on interstate projects in the inter-mountain West. This includes improvements to interstates 10, 11 and 17, expanding U.S. 95, studying a new 50-mile transportation route in Arizona between I-10 and U.S. 60 called the North-South corridor study in Pinal County, and completing the access-controlled Sonoran corridor in Arizona from I-19 and I-10.

The bill provides $1.2 billion for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and directed it to spend up to $9 million on testing of automated vehicles. Also included is up to $3.5 million for virtual modeling and simulation to assess and validate AV use.

The funding measure also provides $896 million to the Maritime Administration, which is $56.4 million above Biden’s budget request.

To advance the use of electric vehicles and green initiatives, the Department of Energy will receive $350 million.

The total funding package, according to the House Appropriations Committee, includes $800 billion in non-defense funding, an increase of $68 billion above last year. The legislation said this amount is, “the highest level for non-defense funding ever, and a larger increase in both dollar and percentage than fiscal year 2022.”



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