DOT Chief Foxx sends highway bill to Congress; bill reflects President Obama’s 4-year, $302 billion reauthorization proposal

(Photo: Victoria Pickering / Flickr)(Photo: Victoria Pickering / Flickr)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced on Tuesday that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is sending a long-term transportation bill to Congress.

Related: Foxx: Insolvent transportation system could cost 700k jobs

The bill, dubbed the GROW AMERICA Act, is based on President Barack Obama’s 4-year, $302 billion transportation reauthorization proposal. Foxx said last week that the president’s bill would be presented to Congress soon; this is likely the bill to which he was referring.

Foxx said the bill aims to create jobs while offering a solution to fix the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) before it runs out of money this summer.

“Failing to act before the Highway Trust Fund runs out is unacceptable – and unaffordable,” Foxx said in a written statement. “This proposal offers the kind of job creation and certainty that the American people want and deserve.”

The DOT noted that the bill includes the following proposals:

  • Address the shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund and providing an additional $87 billion to address the nation’s backlog of deficient bridges and aging transit systems;

  • Create millions of new jobs to ensure America’s future competitiveness;

  • Increase safety across all modes of surface transportation, including increasing the civil penalties the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can levy against automakers who fail to act quickly on vehicle recalls;

  • Provide certainty to state and local governments that must engage in long-term planning;

  • Reduce project approval and permitting timelines while delivering better outcomes for communities and the environment;

  • Bolster efficient and reliable freight networks to support trade and economic growth; and

  • Create incentives to better align planning and investment decisions to comprehensively address regional economic needs while strengthening local decision-making.

Both the House and Senate are also working on solutions. Earlier this month, the House GOP introduced its $1.014 trillion budget, which aims to maintain HTF solvency, while four top transportation senators have unveiled Senate priorities for a new surface transportation bill.

A downloadable copy of the GROW AMERICA Act is available here.