For the first time in six years, the House and Senate have come together to pass a joint budget resolution. Their achievement is overshadowed by a proposed 22 percent reduction in surface transportation funding based upon current revenue projections for the Highway Trust Fund.
While the budget does not have the force of law, it sets the parameters for the upcoming appropriations process when funding for programs is actually allocated.
As in recent years’ House budgets, this joint resolution contains what former House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), called a highway funding “bucket.” This infrastructure reserve mechanism permits Congress to increase transportation funding levels if additional dollars can be found later.”
Current funding levels are not keeping pace with the cost to just maintain America’s roads and bridges. A $12 billion cut from current spending would have a devastating impact on road conditions at just the time when the economy needs improved infrastructure the most.
National Stone Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) Sr. Vice President Pam Whitted stated, “We urge Congress to find the funding necessary in order to avoid this draconian cut. America cannot afford to spend less now on this national priority or else we will be paying much more later.