A coalition of more than 60 transportation industry groups last week urged Congress to resolve its federal spending dispute in order to fund projects authorized in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law nearly three months ago.
While the infrastructure bill authorized money to be spent on a wide range of infrastructure improvements, Congress has been unable to agree on spending for the budget year that began in October and instead has been rolling forward last year’s appropriations, which do not reflect the increase in transportation spending.
“A significant portion of our highway, transit and safety programs are limited” by caps in the existing federal budget, Carlos Monje, under secretary of transportation for policy, told the Washington Post. “Without congressional actions, we aren’t going to be able to move on many of the new programs funded in the bill.”
The delay on agency appropriations is “wholly unacceptable and will cause significant project disruptions, reduced construction and manufacturing employment, and delays in delivering critical transportation infrastructure improvements – just when Americans were promised the most ambitious infrastructure package of our time,” the industry groups said in their letter to Congress.