Bush transportation budget is $59.5 billion

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The Bush administration has proposed a $59.5 billion budget for the U.S. Department of Transportation for fiscal year 2006.

Most of that money, $34.4 billion, would go to the Federal Highway Administration to be distributed to the states for road-building projects. (The department’s press release added a billion dollars to this figure, but all the other budget materials released so far repeatedly state it as $34.4 billion.)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would get $465 million. Almost half of that figure, $222 million, would go to the states to fund law enforcement and CDL oversight.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would get $696 million.

The office of U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, which has 635 employees, would get $259 million, less than its 2005 budget. Of that proposed sum, $100 million would build a new headquarters.

Trucking-specific outlays are dwarfed by the proposed budget of the Federal Aviation Administration ($13.7 billion) or the $9 billion proposed to repave much of the National Highway System. Even the Federal Railroad Administration, drastically cut from 2005 levels, would get $552 million, more than the FMCSA.

Mineta introduced the budget by saying: “The transportation sector is the workhorse that drives the American economy, providing mobility and accessibility for passengers and freight, supplying millions of jobs, and creating growth-generating revenue.”