While for some states this will not have a direct effect, in many states this order will result in an actual cut in funding for highway construction projects. Each state will lose budget authority in a proportion that matches its percent of the total highway funds that were provided over the six-year life of SAFETEA-LU.
Congress included the $8.7 billion rescission in SAFETEA-LU as a way to make the total funding in the bill fit within federal budgeting parameters. At the time, the intent was to find other budget offsets to prevent the rescission from actually being implemented. However, Congress never took the necessary action.
The impact on states will vary depending on the amount of unobligated budget authority each has on the books and in which highway funding categories. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) attempted to remedy this situation with an amendment in July when Congress was taking action to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent by transferring $7 billion from the general fund. While there was significant support to correct the rescission problem, it was not acted on and, therefore, FHWA is required to take this action.