Administration Releases FY 2013 Budget, Calls for $476B Multiyear Transportation Bill

AASHTO Journal, 17 February 2012

President Barack Obama unveiled his $3.8 trillion Fiscal Year 2013 budgetMonday, $74 billion of which is slated for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The budget also recommends a six-year surface transportation reauthorization totaling $476 billion.The administration proposes paying for the six-year bill using money saved from reduced military operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq, along with Highway Trust Fund money. Obama’s budget came out during a week when the House (see related story) and Senate (see related story) are working on separate surface transportation reauthorization bills.

“We are encouraged to see in the president’s budget continued support for a multi-year, fully funded surface transportation bill,” said John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “With the Senate and the House of Representatives also moving ahead on surface transportation bills this week, we see real progress on reauthorization that will provide states with the certainty they need to plan the right projects for their communities and will enable states to deliver projects faster.”

Some of the priorities outlined in the president’s budget include $2.7 billion for high-speed rail ($47 billion over six years); $1 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen air traffic control modernization efforts; and $50 billion for immediate investments in fixing roads, bridges, rail systems, and transit systems. The budget also calls for the consolidation of 55 highway programs into seven.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testified Wednesday before the Senate Budget Committee to further explain and advocate on behalf of the president’s transportation priorities and allocations. A video of the hearing is available at

“President Obama’s budget for the Department of Transportation reflects our commitment to investing in an America that is built to last,” LaHood said in a statement. “A strong American economy depends on the roadways, runways, and railways that move people and goods from coast to coast and around the globe. President Obama’s plan will enable us to build the American infrastructure we need for tomorrow while putting people back to work today.”

A 68-page summary of the FY 2013 USDOT budget is available at All USDOT 2013 budget justifications are available at

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