Buttigieg to Defend Fiscal 2025 Budget in Congress

Port of Baltimore, Supply Chains, Climate Change High on Agenda
Pete Buttigieg
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, shown at Baltimore Harbor on April 5. Officials from USDOT and other agencies met with freight industry stakeholders to plan a supply chain strategy after the Key Bridge collapsed. (Al Drago/Bloomberg News)


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The nation’s top transportation officer will defend the White House’s fiscal 2025 funding request for his department when he appears before congressional funding panels.

Secretary Pete Buttigieg will pause his tour of the country to inform members of Congress about funding proposals the Biden administration is requesting for supply chain operations, emerging technologies and severe weather-resilience projects. He is scheduled to visit Capitol Hill during the week of April 29.

Specific to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a trucking industry regulator, the White House is asking that Congress approve $964.5 million. The Department of Transportation explained the request for fiscal 2025 “sets the stage for investments in roadway safety, interstate commerce, [commercial motor vehicle] operations and driver safety. Investments also focus on addressing root causes of roadway safety, considering situations that may negatively impact driver behavior, such as driver compensation and the frequency and severity of detention times that can lead to speeding.”

As a key communicator of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, which includes implementing 2021’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Buttigieg has highlighted recent investments in high-speed rail, emissions reduction programs and superfluous air travel fees.

“Airlines should compete with one another to secure passengers’ business — not to see who can charge the most in surprise fees,” the secretary argued April 24.

Soon after the White House unveiled its new budget plan in March, Buttigieg told reporters: “Americans are already seeing the roads being repaired, new bus and bike infrastructure being built, goods moving more smoothly from ships to shelves, and more — and this budget will accelerate all of that.”

After last month’s collapse of a bridge at the Port of Baltimore, DOT officials provided emergency assistance, guidance and advocacy for rebuilding efforts. On April 5, officials from the department and other agencies met with freight stakeholders. Background about the meeting DOT provided indicated, “Regional trucking associations gave updates on how truck drivers are running alternative routes due to the suspension of cargo vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Baltimore. Participants also discussed issues regarding state trucking waivers, roll-on/roll-off cargo movement and the need for additional truck parking.”

Members of the House scheduled a hearing with the secretary April 30. Senators are expected to press the secretary May 2. The themes for the hearings before the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations subcommittees will touch on concerns related to supply chain connectivity, aviation safety and freight rail operations.

Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) was recently promoted by his caucus to lead the transportation subcommittee. Earlier this month, he shared a legislative vision: “I will prioritize the vital infrastructure, transportation and housing needs in Arkansas’ [3rd District] and across the country while safeguarding hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

“As a former mayor, I know our work on this subcommittee impacts the safety, economic opportunity and quality of life of every American, a duty I take seriously.”

Tom Cole


House Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) expressed optimism about the upcoming process.

We will meet our fiscal duties, cut wasteful spending and deliver on the priorities of our constituents and the nation,” he said.

For the rest of DOT’s fiscal 2025 budget, the White House is requesting the Federal Highway Administration receive $62.8 billion, the Federal Transit Administration $16.8 billion, the Federal Railroad Administration $3.2 billion and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration $1.2 billion.

Current funding for federal agencies expires Oct. 1. To avert a partial government shutdown, Congress is tasked with clearing new fiscal-year legislation prior to the deadline.

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