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Trump cuts $2.4 billion from DOT funding in budget plan

View of the interstate with vehicles and semi trucks

President Trump’s 2018 budget “blueprint” calls for the elimination of TIGER grants, which have been used since 2009 to help fund infrastructure improvements.

President Donald Trump unveiled an outline for his “America First” proposed budget for 2018, which cuts the Department of Transportation’s funding by $2.4 billion, or 13 percent.

Trump’s budget “blueprint,” which details only discretionary funding proposals, requests $16.2 billion for the DOT’s discretionary budget. The cuts mostly affect air and mass transit transportation, but also include the elimination of funding for DOT’s TIGER grants. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program awarded states funds for resurfacing and other infrastructure improvements.

The budget states the elimination of these grants will save $499 million when compared to the 2017 budget. It says the program, implemented in 2009, essentially duplicates a larger federal grant program.

Trump’s budget says DOT’s Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects grant program, known as FASTLANE grants and authorized by the FAST Act highway bill in 2015, “supports larger highway and multimodal freight projects with demonstrable national or regional benefits.”

Kansas and seven other Midwestern states were awarded a $25 million TIGER grant in 2015 to develop a Truck Parking Information and Management System.

Other significant changes in the budget include a $54 billion increase in defense spending in 2018, which is met with a $54 billion reduction in non-defense spending, according to a message from Trump in the budget.

The full budget is set to be released later this spring. Trump says it will include “specific mandatory and tax proposals, as well as a full fiscal path.”

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Matt Cole is an Associate Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at mattcole@randallreilly.com.