The appropriations process is off to a historically early start.
He was criticized for failing to put forward a plan during the last funding debate.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Thursday that the Department of Transportation’s Highway Trust Fund will not have enough money under President Obama’s proposed 2015 budget, despite an infusion of cash that has been suggested by the president.
Obama has called for Congress to approve a four-year, $302 billion surface transportation bill before the federal government’s current road and transit funding measure expires in September. The money would be used to plug a hole in the Highway Trust Fund, which is normally used to pay for federal transportation projects.
But the CBO said Thursday that Obama’s budget would still leave the Highway Trust Fund with a shortfall because the DOT needs to have at least $4 billion in the account to keep pace with infrastructure obligations.
Sen. Patty Murray said the update should serve as a wake-up call for Congress.
The announcement fell short of the specific funding proposal that advocates had hoped for.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is launching a national bus tour to push lawmakers to approve a new round of road and transit funding.
The bus tour comes as lawmakers face a Sept. 30 deadline to approve new transportation fuding before the current legislation expires. Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that the transportation department’s Highway Trust Fund will go bankrupt as early as August without congressional action.
The DOT said Foxx will travel to eight states next week to “make the case for a robust multiyear federal investment as proposed by the Obama administration that will address the current shortfall and meet the country’s future needs, all without adding to the deficit.”
Lawmakers in the Senate are preparing to make a “major” announcement about transportation funding on Thursday as lawmakers race to beat a deadline for a bankruptcy in the pool of money that is used to pay for road transit projects.
The announcement will come from the top lawmakers on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The lawmakers “will make a major announcement regarding the reauthorization of the transportation bill, entitled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)” on Thursday morning, the panel announced.
Panel members overwhelmingly reject the measure in a voice vote.
The first bill approved covers military construction and Veterans Affairs spending.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski makes charge after a report shows mismanagement of grant awards.