February 28, 2002

$9 Billion Cut Proposed in President's Budget

Washington, DC -- The nation's mayors are urging Congress to restore at least some of the massive cut in transportation funding proposed in President Bush's 2003 budget.

  • Mayor Barr's Testimony
  • Letter to the House
  • Letter to the Senate
  • The President's budget cuts nearly $9 billion, or 28 percent, from the federal highway program in 2003. It is estimated that every $1 billion invested in the federal highway program supports 42,000 jobs. A cut of this magnitude, therefore, would result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs at a time when the nation's economy is particularly vulnerable.

    "States and localities develop long-range transportation plans while counting on a dedicated revenue stream that cannot be disrupted. The financial health of transportation programs across the nation will be in jeopardy as credit and bond financing may be at risk," said leaders of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, American Public Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, National Association of County Engineers, National Association of Development Organizations, and the National Association of Regional Councils, in a letter sent to Congress this week.

    The groups also asked Congress to support the Highway Funding Restoration Act that would increase funding for roads, bridges and safety programs by $4.5 billion to $27.7 billion in 2003 - the level authorized by TEA-21.

    On a similar note about transportation funding, Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr, the Conference's Transportation Chair, testified before the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit today to present a local elected official's perspective on TEA-21 reauthorization. Mayor Barr said, "Continued economic growth requires strong transportation investment in cities. With TEA-21 reauthorization, you have the opportunity to permit us to respond better to both our responsibility to enhance quality of life and increase competitiveness in a world economy."

    Lina Garcia, (202) 861-6719


    ©2004 U.S. Conference of Mayors