DOT Sends 6-year, $478 Billion Grow America Act to Congress

March 30, 2015

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent a six-year, $478 billion transportation reauthorization legislative proposal to Congress March 30. Foxx unveiled the Obama administration’s Grow America Act while speaking at the Newseum in downtown Washington about the need to provide multiyear federal funding for big-ticket highway programs.

According to DOT, the plan authorizes $317 billion for highway programs that are essential to the trucking industry and other sectors. It also authorizes $115 billion for transit systems, $18 billion for a multimodal freight program, and $7.5 billion for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER grant program, as well as expand funding for safety programs.

Earlier this year, the administration indicated in its fiscal 2016 budget request to Congress that about half of the plan’s price tag would be financed with revenue from a one-time, 14% tax on those earnings U.S. corporations have kept overseas.

It is unclear how much attention the plan will receive on Capitol Hill, where Republicans who control both chambers say they intend to unveil a plan that would ensure long-term funding for highway programs, before funding authority expires May 31.

Last year, GOP leaders did not act on the previous Grow America Act that would have authorized $302.3 billion over four years. They instead approved a 10-month funding extension for highway programs.

Pete Marovich/Bloomberg News