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Department of Transportation

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  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by Michael Sargent Highway Trust Fund Basics: A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Spending

    As federal transportation spending consistently outpaces the fuel tax revenues that fund it, the federal government is yet again at an impasse. The Highway Trust Fund, which disburses federal funds to build and maintain road and transit projects, faces a shortfall that will exhaust the fund shortly after the 2014 extension of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015 by Emily Goff What Congress and States Can Do to Reform Transportation Policy

    Ensuring that America’s transportation system gets back on track will require federal and state action to achieve reforms in a number of areas, including surface transportation policy. A high-quality, safe, and reliable transportation system is vital to the nation’s economic health; Americans depend on it daily. Yet the current approach to surface transportation is…

  • Issue Brief posted June 4, 2015 by John Gray, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Michael Sargent House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations: The Highway to Bankruptcy

    The House of Representatives will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD appropriations bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The bill provides $55.3 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents a $1.5 billion increase above the current…

  • Commentary posted October 5, 2015 by Michael Sargent Don't make the highway funding problem worse

    With the threat of a government shutdown largely averted (at least until December), Congress is turning to address other must-pass measures it has skirted this fiscal year. Chief among them is the authorization for highway and transit spending, which is set to expire at the end of October following its latest $8 billion bailout in July. What's again at stake is…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2016 by Justin Bogie, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Michael Sargent Senate Bill Should Cut Wasteful Programs and Provide Long-Term Sustainability for Highway Programs

    The Senate will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The 2017 bill provides a total of $56.5 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents an $827 million decrease below the current funding level and…

  • Testimony posted September 11, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Next Steps for Transportation Security

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Transportation Security Committee on Homeland Security United States House of Representatives September 11, 2012 My name is James Jay Carafano. I am Deputy Director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies and Director of the Douglas and Sarah…

  • Lecture posted May 31, 2012 by Lieutenant Colonel Al Aitken, (U.S. Marine Corps, Ret.) Obama’s Planned Disarming of Commercial Airline Pilots: A Mistake

    Abstract: The Obama Administration has had an institutional hostility toward the concept of arming pilots—and specifically the Federal Flight Deck Officer program—since the very beginning. The President’s fiscal year 2013 budget slashes the FFDO in half, and the Transportation Security Administration has resisted the program from the beginning.…

  • Backgrounder posted June 16, 2008 by Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D. Ending Pervasive Inequities in Gas Tax Burdens

    As gasoline prices approached or exceeded $4 per gallon around the United States, two presidential can­didates and some Members of Congress have recom­mended that the federal fuel tax be suspended in June, July, and August of this year to provide financial relief to American drivers. Under current law, motorists and truck owners pay a federal fuel tax -- 18.3 cents per…

  • WebMemo posted April 15, 2010 by Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D. Federal Highway Program Shortchanges Half of the States

    Among the many contentious issues that will confront Congress in the months leading up to reauthorization of the federal highway program (now postponed until December 2010) is the program’s inherent inequities relating to the distribution of federal trust fund revenues to the states. Under current law, the federal fuel taxes paid into the trust fund by motorists and…

  • WebMemo posted September 22, 2011 by David S. Addington Congress Should Halt FAA Plan to Destroy the Privacy of Noncommercial Flights

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation needs to collect substantial information about aircraft flying in U.S. airspace in order to ensure safety in air travel. The FAA also must share flight data with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and law enforcement authorities to assist them in protecting the…

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  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2016 by Justin Bogie, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Michael Sargent Senate Bill Should Cut Wasteful Programs and Provide Long-Term Sustainability for Highway Programs

    The Senate will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The 2017 bill provides a total of $56.5 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents an $827 million decrease below the current funding level and…

  • Issue Brief posted July 14, 2015 by Curtis S. Dubay New Model Would Aid Dynamic Scoring of Transportation Spending, but Changes Are Needed

    Congress may soon ask the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to score a transportation bill under the new dynamic scoring rules it passed earlier this year.[1] A recent report from former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Michael Mandel provides a model for how the CBO could carry out that analysis.[2] The model needs important improvements to provide Congress with the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 4, 2015 by John Gray, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Michael Sargent House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations: The Highway to Bankruptcy

    The House of Representatives will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD appropriations bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The bill provides $55.3 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents a $1.5 billion increase above the current…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by Michael Sargent Highway Trust Fund Basics: A Primer on Federal Surface Transportation Spending

    As federal transportation spending consistently outpaces the fuel tax revenues that fund it, the federal government is yet again at an impasse. The Highway Trust Fund, which disburses federal funds to build and maintain road and transit projects, faces a shortfall that will exhaust the fund shortly after the 2014 extension of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015 by Emily Goff What Congress and States Can Do to Reform Transportation Policy

    Ensuring that America’s transportation system gets back on track will require federal and state action to achieve reforms in a number of areas, including surface transportation policy. A high-quality, safe, and reliable transportation system is vital to the nation’s economic health; Americans depend on it daily. Yet the current approach to surface transportation is…

  • Issue Brief posted October 2, 2013 by Emily Goff Government Shutdown and the Future of Transportation Funding

    Though the federal government has partially shut down, over 8,000 employees at the Department of Transportation (DOT) will continue working, because the Highway Trust Fund (HTF)—funded by federal gas tax revenues—is their source of funding. Additionally, 25,000 employees at DOT have been deemed “essential” and will escape furlough.[1] October 1 also marks the 20th…

  • Issue Brief posted May 20, 2013 by Emily Goff Eight Questions for Transportation Secretary Nominee Anthony Foxx

    If confirmed as the next Secretary of Transportation, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will have opportunities to break with the business-as-usual transportation policy that revolves around Washington and special-interest politics. It is important to the confirmation process to understand Foxx’s position on existing programs and to what extent he agrees with the…

  • White Paper posted November 1, 2011 by Patrick Louis Knudsen, Emily Goff Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012

    The FY 2013 version of the Appropriations Tracker is available here. Download a PDF version with hyperlinks to House and Senate Appropriations Committee documents: Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 Designed to inform American policymakers and citizens, the Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 monitors the progress of appropriations bills as they move through the…

  • WebMemo posted September 22, 2011 by David S. Addington Congress Should Halt FAA Plan to Destroy the Privacy of Noncommercial Flights

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation needs to collect substantial information about aircraft flying in U.S. airspace in order to ensure safety in air travel. The FAA also must share flight data with the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and law enforcement authorities to assist them in protecting the…

  • WebMemo posted July 6, 2011 by Ronald D. Utt, Ph.D. Federal Highway Program: How Opting Out Would Help States

    Growing dissatisfaction with federal transportation policy and government’s mismanagement of the highway trust fund have encouraged many in Congress and in state governments to seek ways to overhaul the system or to extract themselves from it. Since the mid-1990s, legislation has been introduced each year in Congress to phase out the federal highway program by shifting…

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Find more work on Department of Transportation