Funding for the Department of Transportation (DOT) and a number of popular transportation programs would be slashed under President Trump’s budget request.
The fiscal 2018 budget proposal, released by the White House on Tuesday, would cut the DOT’s discretionary budget by nearly 13 percent, to $16.2 billion.
The White House spending document eliminates funding for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program, which was set up by the Obama administration’s 2009 economic stimulus package to provide an extra injection of cash for surface transportation projects.
The grants are appropriated by Congress every year but were never authorized. Scrapping the program would save about $499 million annually.
TIGER grants are a generally popular funding tool among cities and states, but have drawn the ire of some Republicans. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said at a recent hearing that money for the grants could be put back into the transportation system in a more "holistic" way.
Trump’s budget would fully fund the Highway Trust Fund through 2021 in the way that lawmakers envisioned when they passed the last highway bill. But Congress will again need to provide a fix for the fund or else it will face a $96 billion dip in funding after 2021.
“That’s not a cut,” Chao emphasized during a conference call Tuesday. “It’s a drop-off.”
More from The Hill.