Obama Administration Sends Transportation Bill to Congress

The Obama administration today sent Congress its proposal for a multi-year transportation bill, which it’s calling the GROW AMERICA Act. The bill, based on the budget proposal President Obama released two months ago, relies on corporate tax reform to raise $87 billion to fill the hole in the Highway Trust Fund. The four-year bill would cost $302 billion.

Sec. Anthony Foxx sent a transportation bill to Congress today. Photo: ##http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/queen_city_agenda/2013/02/anthony-foxx-jerry-orr-share-a-happy.html?page=all##Nancy Pierce, Charlotte Business Journal##
Sec. Anthony Foxx sent a transportation bill to Congress today. Photo: Nancy Pierce/Charlotte Business Journal

It’s the first time Obama has sent Congress a transportation proposal. He received some criticism for not doing so before the current transportation authorization, MAP-21, passed.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the bill’s submission to Congress in a phone call today with reporters. Foxx recently wrapped up an eight-state bus tour, in which he talked to people about the infrastructure needs where they live.

“Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable — and unaffordable,” said Foxx. “This proposal offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve.”

The bill  includes $206 billion for the highway system and road safety over its four year duration, and transit gets $72 billion. That brings the current 80-20 ration for highways and transit to something closer to 75-25. Rail — a new addition to the transportation bill — gets $19 billion, including nearly $5 billion annually for high-speed rail. The proposal also sets aside $9 billion for discretionary, competitive funding, including $5 billion for the popular TIGER grant project.

Foxx noted that he has been “pleased” that members of Congress have already been working in a bipartisan fashion to craft a bill and that he looks forward to “supporting and building on the good work that’s already been done.”

Reporters on the call were most interested in the increased authority the administration seeks for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in investigating and penalizing automakers who fail to act quickly on vehicle recalls. The administration seeks to increase civil penalty limits nearly tenfold, to $300 million, so that they would be “more than a rounding error” in the company’s bottom lines.

Foxx also emphasized the bill’s focus on speeding up transportation projects by reducing project approval and permitting timelines.

Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo also notes that the GROW AMERICA Act places rail into the transportation trust fund, providing rail “with a predictable, dedicated funding source and the tools needed to drive the next generation of rail safety and development.” Rail has historically been paid for out of general funds leading to persistent fights in Congress over annual appropriations.

Rep. Nick Rahall, the top Democrat on the House Transportation Committee, praised Foxx for laying down a “marker” recognizing the need for greater investment in transportation, calling the funding levels “laudable.”

“There are some in this Congress that are happy with the status quo when it comes to investing in our nation’s infrastructure,” Rahall said. “I am not one of them.”

U.S. DOT notes that “without additional investment, deficiencies in our nation’s infrastructure will cost businesses more than $1 trillion every year in lost sales,” and yet despite the urgency, the Highway Trust Fund is “on track to start bouncing checks as early as August.” 

You can download a summary of the bill [PDF] and the full text [PDF]. We’ll bring you more analysis as we go through the bill.

  • LIUNA

    Let get the ball rolling …..!!!!!! I just hope BOEGHNER doesnt try to block it

  • LIUNA

    I just signed the petition “Impeach John Boehner” on Change.org.

    It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/impeach-john-boehner? recruiter=91286206& utm_campaign=signature_ receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_ source=share_petition

  • simonzee1

    http://www.stripes.com/news/us/top-2-pentagon-intelligence-officials-quitting-1.280823

    I’ll tell you why these top 2 intelligence officials are quitting. It’s because the Whitehouse is asking them to build databases and go after patriotic Americans like Bundy and their supporters and anyone that opposes the feds. They are incenced by intelligence agencies are being orientated to gather information on Americans after Reid called them terrorists..

    If you want to know what a true terrorist looks like go to the middle-east and the terrorist organisations that America supports that killed your ambassador and are crucifying people. But no Reid wants to label bible believing people terrorists. This is why they are leaving because Obama and his administration are liars…dividers and terrorists themselves. Why would you want to be part of a terrorist organisation as a wolf in sheeps clothing. These guys are not going to smear their record with this disgusting administration.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616694/Horrifying-scenes-Syria-Islamic-extremists-CRUCIFY-two-fighting-against-Muslims.html

  • simonzee1

    http://www.stripes.com/news/us/top-2-pentagon-intelligence-officials-quitting-1.280823

    I’ll tell you why these top 2 intelligence officials are quitting. It’s because the Whitehouse is asking them to build databases and go after patriotic Americans like Bundy and their supporters and anyone that opposes the feds. They are incenced by intelligence agencies are being orientated to gather information on Americans after Reid called them terrorists.

    If you want to know what a true terrorist looks like go to the middle-east and the terrorist organisations that America supports that killed your ambassador and are crucifying people. But no Reid wants to label bible believing people terrorists. This is why they are leaving because Obama and his administration are liars…dividers and terrorists themselves. Why would you want to be part of a terrorist organisation as a wolf in sheeps clothing. These guys are not going to smear their record with this disgusting administration.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616694/Horrifying-scenes-Syria-Islamic-extremists-CRUCIFY-two-fighting-against-Muslims.html

  • blackobama.beep.com
    The mother of Obama Jr, Stanley Ann Dunham (in her original birth certificate she was named „Stanley A Dunham

    Jr” after her father, signed as a male), was a Jew (presumably), who choosed an Islamic lover, and was a member

    of the impaired secta Subud (for over 30 years) while she raised his son. So the son (Obama Jr) got in touch

    with the secta.
    In 1960 Ann Dunham signed in to the University of Hawaii. She took Russian language classes, where she met the

    islamic Barack Obama Sr.

    This mysterious java religious secta was founded by the Indonesian Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo,

    a.k.a.”Bapak,”, who got the interest of Ann Dunham Soetoro (last name by her second islamic husband, the

    stepfather of Obama Jr.), the mother of President Obama.
    By the way there were many Subud members on the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center.
    It is not a speculation, that in Indonesia the mother of Obama had a strong relation with the cult members of

    Subud. It is also an impressive sign, that her obsequies held on Hawaii , by Subud traditions, so she stayed a

    member of the Subud, until her death.
    The logical chain of the interesting relations mentioned above are ask new questions about Obamas real mission

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