While it may seem like hundreds of millions of transportation-related dollars are being targeted for cuts by the Trump administration as part of a $15.4 billion, 41-page rescission request made by the Office of Management and Budget on May 8, in reality, aims to "eliminate" monies that are unlikely to get fully spent.
Under the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the Trump administration seeks to formally zero-out allocated yet unspent funds from a variety of older programs under what the White House is describing as "the first of several" rescission requests.
OMB noted that these cuts largely affect authorized funding that hasn't been paid out, meaning they are focused almost entirely on unspent dollars from previous years.
In terms of direct transportation project funding, cut requests include:
There are also a number of other transportation-related funding cuts included in the rescission request as well, such as removing $4.3 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (which has not made a loan since 2011, according to the White House) and eliminating $133 million from the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefits program that expired in 2012.
The Federal Railroad Administration issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity for $500,000 in state grants on July 11 under its Railroad Safety State Participation Pilot Grant Program, made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
July 13, 2018
The Federal Transit Administration opened up a Notice of Funding Opportunity on July 11 for $5 million in fiscal year 2018 grants aimed at supporting transit projects for Native American tribes and Alaska Native villagers in rural areas.
Two recent reports indicate that distracted driving remains a growing problem in the U.S. – yet one that two Northwestern states, at least, are finding can be addressed with stricter distracted driving laws.