In addition to proposing the transportation investment levels described is this story, the FY 2019 transportation appropriations bill also includes a very direct description of the senators’ thoughts on the Trump administration’s infrastructure proposal. Remember, all committee Republicans and Democrats voted for the measure.
Here is the relevant passage:
“The President’s budget request once again includes $200,000,000,000 in direct Federal funding to leverage $1,500,000,000,000 in investment for our Nation’s infrastructure, but the administration has publicly acknowledged that its proposal is unlikely to be enacted this year. The Committee fully supports the goal to improve our Nation’s infrastructure, but remains concerned with the administration’s policy objective to increase the financial burden on State and local governments by raising their own revenue as a means of meeting the goal.
“The Committee reiterates its support for Federal investment in infrastructure to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of freight and people across the Nation. The Committee recommendation continues increased funding levels provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 for highway, airport, transit, rail, maritime, and housing infrastructure, consistent with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. However, the 2-year budget agreement does not provide the long-term funding structure necessary to maintain and improve our Nation’s transportation infrastructure. Therefore, the Committee reiterates that increased funding levels from the general fund for airport, highway, and transit programs that have historically been funded from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and the Highway Trust Fund are provided to supplement, not to supplant, traditional funding for these programs. The Committee expects the Administration to work with relevant authorizing committees to provide long-term sustainable funding for infrastructure before the FAST Act expires at the end of fiscal year 2020 to ensure a reauthorization bill is enacted on time.
“Unfortunately, the administration’s budget request simply ignores the Highway Trust Fund and reflects a reduction of $122,000,000,000 in highway and transit programs over the 10- year budget window. The budget request offers no solutions to sustaining the Highway Trust Fund and simply ignores the impact of less investment on our transportation network. Therefore, the Committee directs the Department to submit to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations a report on the impact of the administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request on State DOTs, transit agencies, and other entities that currently receive funding from the Highway Trust Fund within 120 days of enactment of this act. The Department is further directed to include a future investment scenario in its next Conditions and Performance report, as required by 23 U.S.C. 503(b)(8) and 49 U.S.C. 308(e), that also reflects funding levels consistent with the administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request.”