Congress Kicks Off Budget Season as White House Responds to Fuel Prices

Pete Buttigieg
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is asking Congress to approve $142 billion for his department in the fiscal 2023 budget. (Senate EPW Committee via YouTube)

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The leadership of federal agencies will visit Capitol Hill over the next few weeks to defend their slice of the White House’s far-reaching budget plan.

The testimony of Cabinet secretaries and administrators will take place as the White House continues to respond to high gas prices and ongoing efforts to enact an ambitious climate agenda.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whose department is asking Congress to approve $142 billion for fiscal 2023, will be among the administration officials expected to be scheduled to make the rounds before congressional funding leaders, known as appropriators.

USDOT Budget Request

The U.S. Department of Transportation's budget request for Congress includes:

• $367.5 million for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s safety operations and programs division

• $506.1 million for FMCSA’s safety grants division

“The investments in the president’s budget make traveling safer, easier, cleaner and more affordable for the American people,” the secretary said last month.

Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, is among the senior Democrats touting the White House’s budgetary aims for fiscal 2023.

“The president’s budget request would increase our efforts to address homelessness and reduce housing costs by expanding access to housing assistance, expanding and improving the housing stock, and strengthening enforcement of federal fair housing laws,” Price said recently.



“This proposal builds on the transformational investments of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, while promoting safety, equity and climate change mitigation across all modes of transportation,” he added.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) affirmed, “In the coming weeks, it is essential that Congress, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, work with the president to negotiate budget top lines so that we can commence the appropriations process for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.”

Congress returns to its legislative agenda after Easter recess the week of April 25.

It is essential that Congress, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, work with the president to negotiate budget top lines.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)


White House officials have suggested the fiscal 2023 budget request responds to economic pressures related to supply chain bottlenecks and rising fuel prices. Specific to fuel prices, President Joe Biden recently announced plans to allow gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend to be sold in the summer. Per the White House: “This is the latest step in expanding Americans’ access to affordable fuel supply and bringing relief to Americans suffering from [Vladimir] Putin’s price hike at the pump.”

On April 12, Biden told an audience in Iowa: “Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank: None of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide a half a world away.”


Host Michael Freeze discusses the future of tire maintenance with Yokohama's Tom Clauer and Goodyear's Austin Crayne and Jessica Julian. Hear a snippet above, and get the full program by going to

The president recently announced a move to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the country’s strategic reserves, marking the largest release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

According to Energy Information Administration data released April 11, the national average price of diesel was $5.073 a gallon.

Senior Republicans, meanwhile, are pushing back on the president’s agenda.

“Consumer price hikes have set new 40-year records multiple months in a row. More and more American families are feeling the pinch. And seven in 10 say they do not like how President Biden is handling it,” Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said. “It was clear from the start that the Biden administration’s war on affordable energy would punish American consumers.”

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