Buttigieg to Defend Budget Request Before House

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
“We are making infrastructure investments across the country using the tools and funds that Congress provided to us," Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says. (Angus Mordant/Bloomberg News)

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The transportation funding committee in the U.S. House is scheduled to evaluate the White House’s fiscal 2024 budget request during a hearing with Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

As part of its review of funding proposals for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other transportation agencies, the GOP-led appropriations subcommittee will hear directly from the secretary April 20.

Buttigieg’s testimony before the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations panel will take place shortly after he updated senators about the transportation elements included in President Joe Biden’s $6.9 trillion budget request to Congress.

“The budget will propel our department’s work across our three major categories of effort: running our operations well in the agency, building good things well across the country, and protecting the safety and well-being of everyone who interacts with America’s transportation systems — from pedestrians to airline passengers to rail workers,” the secretary recently told senators.

He emphasized further: “In each of these areas, Congress, of course, plays a fundamental role.”

The secretary, and leading figures in the Biden administration, tout the implementation of 2021’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The $1.2 trillion bipartisan law is designed to dedicate billions of dollars for freight and supply chain connectivity projects, among other programs. “We are making infrastructure investments across the country using the tools and funds that Congress provided to us — and we are seeing some new and welcome bipartisan support for much — needed safety regulations, including a number of policies we have called for, and which we strongly support,” he told senators.

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For FMCSA, an agency tasked with regulating the nation’s commercial vehicles, such as heavy-duty trucks and buses, the White House’s budget proposal would dedicate nearly $1 billion in the next fiscal year. That proposal’s breakdown includes $435 million for its safety operations division and $516.3 million for its motor carrier safety grants unit.

Overall, the budget request for the U.S. Department of Transportation would provide the Federal Highway Administration with $60.8 billion, the Federal Transit Administration with $17 billion, the Federal Railroad Administration with $4.8 billion, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with $1.3 billion and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration with $387.3 million.

Texas Rep. Kay Granger


GOP funding leaders have yet to release details of their fiscal 2024 funding bills, which would include legislation targeting transportation programs. In the meantime, they have expressed interest in closely examining proposed funding increases for departments in the Biden administration. Funding authority for the current fiscal year expires at the end of September.

House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) explained March 22: “We have the opportunity to take a hard look at department and agency budgets, find ways to reduce spending, and reform federal programs so we can prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.”

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