Department of Transportation (DOT) Appropriations: FY2019

The Trump Administration proposed a $76.2 billion budget for the Department of Transportation (DOT) for FY2019: $16 billion in discretionary funding and $60 billion in mandatory funding. That is approximately $11 billion less than was provided for FY2018. The budget request reflected the Administration’s call for significant cuts in funding for transit and rail programs. The DOT appropriations bill funds federal programs covering aviation, highways and highway safety, public transit, intercity rail, maritime safety, pipelines, and related activities. Federal highway, transit, and rail programs were reauthorized in fall 2015, and their future funding authorizations were somewhat increased. There is general agreement that more funding is needed for transportation infrastructure, but Congress has not been able to agree on a source that could provide the additional funding. The federal excise tax on motor fuel, which is the primary funding source for federal highway and transit programs, has not been increased in over 20 years, and does not raise enough revenue to support even the current level of spending. To address this shortfall, Congress periodically transfers money from the general fund to the Highway Trust Fund to provide sufficient funding for the programs. The annual appropriations for DOT are combined with those for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill. The House Appropriations Committee reported H.R. 3353, the THUD FY2019 appropriations bill, in which Division A provides FY2019 appropriations for DOT. The committee recommended $87.8 billion in new budget authority for DOT, approximately 1.8% ($1.6 billion) more than the comparable figure in FY2018. The Senate passed H.R. 6147, a bill containing appropriations for several federal agencies; Division D is an FY2019 THUD appropriations bill, in which Division A is DOT appropriations. The Senate bill would provide $86.6 billion in new budget authority, less than 1% ($427 million) more than the comparable FY2018 amount. Notable differences between the House-reported and Senate-passed bills include funding for the federal-aid highway program (the House committee bill would provide $900 million more than the Senate) and for intercity passenger rail (the House committee would provide $950 million for grants, including $150 million for the maglev program, compared to the Senate’s $565 million, with no funding for maglev). With inflation forecast at 2.0% for FY2019, the House committee bill would result in roughly level inflation-adjusted funding for DOT compared to FY2018, while the Senate bill would likely result in a slight decrease in inflation-adjusted funding.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 22p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01704630
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: R45321
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 9 2019 2:49PM