Budget Request Includes $951 Million for FMCSA
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Federal commercial transportation operations would receive nearly $1 billion under a fiscal 2024 budget request the White House unveiled this month.
President Joe Biden’s budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation would dedicate $951.3 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency is tasked with regulating commercial vehicles, such as heavy-duty trucks and buses.
FMCSA’s proposed budget allocation includes $435 million for its safety operations division and $516.3 million for its motor carrier safety grants unit.
Specific to the operations division, the funding would back programs related to information technology upgrades, research and technology initiatives and outreach projects central to promoting highway safety.
“FMCSA’s primary goal is to improve roadway safety to reduce large-truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In carrying out its safety mandate, FMCSA embraces and plays a vital role in DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy. The NRSS sets a vision of zero fatalities on our nation’s roadways, outlines steps DOT will take to advance toward this goal and lays out a number of priority actions for FMCSA,” per USDOT background accompanying the budget proposal.
The safety grants portfolio consists of high-priority activities programs, a commercial driver license implementation initiative and commercial motor vehicle enforcement training and support.
“FMCSA’s grants represent an ongoing investment into motor carrier, driver and [commercial motor vehicle] safety through the consistent nationwide application, education and enforcement of laws. There are more than 638,000 FMCSA-regulated motor carriers and approximately 6.8 million commercial drivers, including 4.9 million [commercial driver’s license] holders who are subject to federal requirements,” according to the department’s background about the request.
“FMCSA will continue to partner with state and local agencies and other eligible safety stakeholders to improve safety,” the background information also said. “FMCSA’s discretionary grant programs require applicants to adopt an equity and inclusion program/plan or to institute other equity-focused policies in the overall project delivery and implementation.”
For other aspects of the department’s budget, the Federal Highway Administration would receive $60.8 billion; the Federal Transit Administration would receive $17 billion; the Federal Railroad Administration would receive $4.8 billion; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would receive $1.3 billion; the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration would receive $387.3 million; and the Port Infrastructure Development Program would receive $230 million.
“Investing in the repair and modernization of ports creates good-paying union jobs for American workers and helps transform our deteriorating infrastructure into a 21st-century system that supports efficiency in our freight supply chains, creates more opportunity in disadvantaged areas, accelerates equitable long-term economic growth and resilience, and increases our global competitiveness,” according to the budget document.
On March 9, the White House unveiled its $6.9 trillion fiscal 2024 budget for lawmakers’ consideration. That request was greeted along partisan lines on Capitol Hill.
“His budget would impact every single family, from coast to coast, every single American family is affected by his legislation in positive ways that people really, really want and have asked for,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said this month.
“It fits the needs of American families to a tee and gives them the kind of hope and optimism that America is moving in the right direction, and paying attention to their needs,” the senator added.
Congressional GOP leaders pushed back. House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) took aim at inflation. “Addressing inflation will require serious solutions, not more of the failed policies that got us here,” the chairman observed. “I encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with House Republicans on spending cuts to reduce the deficit and rein in inflation.”
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