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Public Statements

H.R. 5604, The "Surface Transportation Savings Act of 2010"

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. PERRIELLO. Madam Speaker, today I am joined by my colleague, the gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Schauer, to introduce the ``Surface Transportation Savings Act of 2010.'' This bill will reduce the Nation's deficit by $106.8 million by rescinding contract authority made available to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that the agencies cannot use in fiscal year (FY) 2010.

* At this time of rising budget deficits and reduced revenues caused by the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it is imperative that we take every step we can to efficiently and effectively manage taxpayer dollars. By eliminating funds that these agencies cannot use, this legislation will take steps--small as they may appear--toward reducing the Federal budget deficit, which reached $1.4 trillion in FY 2009.

* Eliminating excess funding that agencies cannot use is a common sense and practical step toward improving the nation's fiscal foundation while efforts to repair our ailing economy continue to take place across the nation.

* NHTSA's safety belt performance grants program received $124.5 million in FY 2010 to carry out this important incentive grant program. NHTSA has informed us that only three states are expected to qualify to receive an incentive grant under this program this year. Therefore, NHTSA requires no more than $28.5 million in FY 2010 to carry out the authorized activities of this program. Since NHTSA does not have the ability to redistribute the unallocated funds in FY 2010, H.R. 5604 would rescind $81.0 million of contract authority from this program.

* The Surface Transportation Savings Act also rescinds $8.5 million of contract authority from NHTSA's administrative expenses, National Driver Register and research and development programs. This excess contract authority was made available under the extension of current surface transportation programs passed as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act). Because the amounts provided for these programs is greater than the funding levels provided by the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010, NHTSA cannot use these fund in FY 2010.

* Specifically, H.R. 5604 would rescind $6.4 million of contract authority authorized for NHTSA's administrative expenses; $1.8 million of contract authority authorized for NHTSA's highway safety research and development program; and $78,000 of amounts authorized for NHTSA to carry out the National Driver Register.

* Finally, H.R. 5604 rescinds $17.4 million of contract authority from FTA's formula and bus grant programs. The HIRE Act provides $8.361 billion in FY 2010 to carry out FTA's formula and bus grant programs. This funding level is $17.4 million greater than the funding level provided by the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010, and thus FTA cannot use these funds.

* Madam Speaker, reducing the nation's growing budget deficit is crucial to our long-term financial health and economic prosperity. In these difficult economic times, we must look particularly hard for each and every opportunity to address the deficits and debt we are leaving for future generations. The legislation Mr. Schauer and I are introducing today is a common sense step in that direction.


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