House Transportation Committee weighs in on 2005 budget
As the U.S. Congress begins preparing its response to President Bush’s 2005 budget, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee weighed in with a list of funding priorities for the Budget Committee to consider, including more money for port security grants.
The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recommended highway and rail infrastructure improvements be funded at the annual level set forth in the six-year, $375 billion spending authorization plan championed by Chairman Don Young, R-Alaska. The follow-on spending blueprint is higher than the $318 billion in the Senate version of the bill and at odds with the Bush administration’s $256 billion proposal.
The committee recommended doubling the administration’s request of $250 million to develop and install in-line baggage security systems in airports. It questioned the administration’s plan to cut from $2.5 billion from $2.9 billion the amount of money in the Federal Aviation Administration budget for investment in modern air traffic control systems.
As for ports, the committee said Bush’s 2005 budget request of $46 million for port security grants falls way short of the amount needed. The committee said security grants to ports and port users should be funded at least at the fiscal 2004 level of $124.5 million.