Highway Account Will Remain Solvent Until Next Year, CBO Forecasts

AASHTO Journal, 3 February 2012

The Highway Trust Fund will be able to fully fund federal-aid highway projects through the rest of this fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office projected in its semiannual budget outlook report issued Tuesday. The trust fund’s Highway Account will run out of money in Fiscal Year 2013, however, if Congress does not authorize additional revenue, CBO forecasts.Transit programs — paid for by the trust fund’s Transit Account — can be fully funded into FY 2014, the report states.

“The two accounts will be unable to meet obligations in a timely manner sometime during 2013 (for the Highway Account) and 2014 (for the Transit Account),” according to the report. “From 2008 to 2010, the Highway Trust Fund received transfers from the General Fund of the Treasury totaling almost $35 billion to keep the trust fund from being exhausted.”

The House (see related story) and Senate (see related story) are moving surface transportation authorization bills through committees that would maintain current funding levels for five and two years, respectively. The House Ways and Means Committee met this morning to pass a bill that would raise more revenue for the Highway Trust Fund. The Senate Finance Committee is looking for $12 billion in additional revenue to fully fund that chamber’s $109 billion highway and transit reauthorization legislation.

CBO’s 165-page report is available at 1.usa.gov/CBO12699.

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