WASHINGTON — Days after House Republicans called his budget request a “fantasy,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told a Senate panel that the White House will soon unveil a “new and improved” transportation funding plan.
Details of the six-year, $478 billion legislative proposal, an update of last year’s Grow America Act, were revealed in the fiscal 2016 budget the Obama administration sent to Congress on Feb. 2. The plan would be backed with revenue from a one-time 14% tax on earnings that U.S. corporations have kept overseas. For several weeks, Foxx has been telling lawmakers on Capitol Hill the full plan is on its way.
“Our six-year proposal will provide the funding growth and long-term certainty so desperately needed by our states and local communities so they can make real progress on addressing our infrastructure deficit,” Foxx told the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee March 3, adding that the plan would also “build ladders of opportunity to help Americans get to the middle class by providing transportation options in rural, suburban and urban areas that are more affordable and reliable and by improving their quality of life through greater access to education and new job opportunities.”
Republicans on the panel told the secretary they agreed there’s a need to advance a long-term funding proposal for highway programs, but they stopped short of endorsing the administration’s plan. Funding authority for transportation programs expires at the end of May.
For fiscal 2016, the administration is requesting $95 billion for DOT, up from $72.6 billion this year.