Preparing for the Transportation of Tomorrow
Today, the President sent his “America First" budget for FY 2018 to Congress. This is a strategic document that looks to the future, and is designed to send a clear message on deficit reduction. For DOT, it addresses the department's discretionary programs, which make up about one-quarter of the Department’s total resources. These proposed savings are largely geared towards future program investments, so they will not have an immediate direct impact on our DOT colleagues. This is just the beginning of the budget process, not the end. We will see the more complete picture when OMB releases its final FY 2018 budget in May, and as the President’s infrastructure initiative takes shape. In fact, OMB Director Mulvaney noted yesterday that the strategy behind the savings in the DOT budget is to move money out of existing, inefficient programs and hold these funds for more efficient programs that will be included in the infrastructure package under development.
The budget announced today preserves the ongoing safety programs at the heart of our Department’s mission. In addition, it reaffirms the President’s strong commitment to modernizing our country’s outdated infrastructure with a strategic, targeted program of investments that will improve our economy, strengthen competitiveness and create jobs. The program will encompass common-sense regulatory, administrative, organizational and policy changes that will speed project delivery. More budgetary, tax and legislative details will be provided in the coming months.
Today’s budget announcement is the start of national dialogue about our country’s priorities for the future and how best to manage the tax dollars we are given. I look forward to working with the Department, Congress and the various stakeholders on the opportunities ahead.