May 23, 2019 – Last week, transportation and infrastructure professionals convened around the country to discuss priorities for a national infrastructure agenda… While many conversations touched on opportunities to invest in resilient infrastructure or efficient transportation systems, there was a notable absence of discussion about another current major proposal of national significance: the Green New Deal resolution aimed at addressing climate change and economic inequality, of which infrastructure is a major component.
Eno Transportation Weekly
Category: Highway Trust Fund
May 21, 2019 – The behavior of motorists in the U.S. has changed a lot in the last 35 or so years, and these changes have led to a noticeable drop in per-capita gasoline usage in the 21st Century. But this decline has not been even across all states, and if Congress ever gets the Highway Trust Fund self-sufficient again and based largely on gasoline taxes, these discrepancies in state gasoline usage patterns could eventually have an effect on highway funding debates.
May 10, 2019 – Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of President Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget request, including the effects of a planned spending freeze on the Highway Trust Fund.
May 2, 2019 – The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released updated baseline budget projections for the ongoing fiscal year 2019 and the ten-year period of fiscal 2020-2029. The new baseline estimates that the cost of keeping the Highway Trust Fund solvent at baseline spending levels (FY 2019 enacted levels plus annual inflation increases of around 2 percent per year) has risen to about $176 billion, which is about $12 billion higher than the $164 billion that CBO projected in its January 2019 preliminary baseline.
April 11, 2019 – Yesterday, the Treasury Department announced that the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund has failed its forward-looking solvency test for fiscal year 2020. As a result, unless Congress passes new legislation fixing the problem, apportionments of FY 2020 mass transit formula funding to transit agencies will be reduced by around 12 percent from the levels provided by the FAST Act.
April 5, 2019 – Texas tried to revive the old “donor state vs. donee state” highway funding debate last week. A March 26 letter to Congressional leaders from the Texas delegation complained that “Texas only receives 95 cents back for every dollar it sent to Washington in federal fuel taxes” and asked for a “fair, equitable and logical approach” to highway funding distribution formulas in the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.
March 22, 2019 – Senate Budget Committee chairman Mike Enzi today introduced a 2020 budget plan that assumes that Congress will enact somewhere around $85-90 billion in new highway user taxes over five years to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent at baseline funding levels.
March 19, 2019 – The details of the President’s budget proposal for fiscal 2020 make it clear that, if the Trump Administration has a plan for long-term fiscal solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, they aren’t presenting it in this budget
March 19, 2019 – The Federal Highway Administration, in a funding notice (N4510.835) dated March 15, formally gave states DOTs $3.2 billion in highway funding from the general fund of the Treasury provided by the omnibus fiscal 2019 appropriations act.
March 19, 2019 – In the full fiscal year 2020 federal budget request released this week, the assumptions for the tax receipts of transportation excise taxes over the next decade made by the White House Office of Management and Budget are significantly above the estimates for those taxes made by the Congressional Budget Office. And the Administration once again boosts its overall receipt totals by requesting new transportation user fees that Congress is unlikely to approve.
March 15, 2019 – The White House now says that $200 billion in infrastructure funding in the budget won’t go towards surface transportation reauthorization, but that the surface bill will be counted towards the $1 trillion spending total.
March 11, 2019 – President Trump has released a fiscal year 2020 budget request today that calls for $84.1 billion in gross budgetary resources for the U.S. Department of Transportation today, a $3.5 billion decrease from 2019.
March 8, 2019 – The House Ways and Means Committee held a long-awaited hearing on infrastructure (and the funding thereof) this week, but little new ground was broken.
February 9, 2019 – The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the 116thCongress formally kicked off its work yesterday with a marathon seven-hour hearing entitled “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Investing in Our Nation’s Infrastructure Cannot Wait.”
February 8, 2019 – Here are two simple charts that show the totality of the Highway Trust Fund spending and revenue situation from 1957 to the present.
January 31, 2019 – The new CBO budget forecast allows us to estimate how much money would be raised by proposals to increase gasoline and diesel fuel taxes.
January 28, 2019 – The Congressional Budget Office today issued a revised Highway Trust Fund forecast estimating that about $165 billion in new taxes or bailout transfers will be necessary to keep the Trust Fund solvent at baseline spending levels for the next decade.
January 25, 2019 – The Congressional Budget Office will release its annual Budget and Economic Outlook on Monday, January 28. This will be accompanied by CBO’s preliminary spending and revenue baseline for the fiscal year 2020-2029 period, the release of which should include an updated forecast of Highway Trust Fund cash flow for the coming decade.
January 25, 2019 – Both the spending and revenue sides of the federal-aid highway program are very carbon-centric. Is the present highway program compatible with a “Green New Deal”?
January 4, 2019 – Yesterday, the House of Representatives elected Nancy Pelosi as Speaker and passed a package of rules changes that include the abolition of term limits for committee changes and two budget changes with a bit effect on Highway Trust Fund spending.