House and Senate appropriations committee members have criticized some parts of the Dept. of Transportation's fiscal year 2015 budget and praised others. Republicans seemed more critical than Democrats.
During DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx's March 12 appearance before the House transportation-housing subcommittee, Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), the full committee's chairman, blasted the proposal's new transportation trust fund and its hike on the airport passenger facility charge. He called them "budget gimmicks that Congress has time and again said no to."
Foxx also said DOT would send its detailed $302-billion, four-year transportation bill to Congress in April. It would get about half of that funding from corporate-tax modifications.
Senate transportation-housing subcommittee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) hailed DOT's budget at a March 13 hearing for its focus on "prudent investments, beginning with fixing our existing infrastructure." Murray, who helped launch DOT's TIGER grants, liked the $1.25-billion fiscal year 2015 request for TIGER, more than double its 2014 amount.
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), the panel's top Republican, backs TIGER, too. She said tax reform is needed but said Congress isn't likely to take up that issue this year.