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Obama Administration Releases 'Grow America' Transportation Budget Proposal

Calling the new transportation budget the GROW AMERICA Act, the Obama Administration's proposed transportation budget arrives as time is running out on MAP-21 and the Highway Trust Fund.
April 30, 2014, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"The Obama administration today sent Congress its proposal for a multi-year transportation bill, which it’s calling the GROW AMERICA Act," reports Tanya Snyder. "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 [sic] 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." Under the Obama Administration's recommendation, the bill would allocate a total of $302 billion over its four-year duration.

The bill mirrors the initial draft released two months ago—relying on corporate tax reform to raise $87 billion to fill the hole in the Highway Trust Fund. Snyder also provides some background on the significance of the gesture by the Obama Administration: "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."

A separate article by Joe Schmitz provides more perspective on how funding levels would change under GROW AMERICA compared to MAP-21: "The legislation calls for a 37 percent overall annual spending increase on transportation programs, including 21 percent for highways and 69 percent for transit. Funding for passenger rail service would be increased 71 percent."

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Published on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in Streetsblog USA
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