Budget limits construction funding, forces cuts in key programs

President Bush has released a $3.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2009, which the Associated General Contractors of America says shrinks domestic spending and reduces the amount of money aimed at infrastructure investment. The Administration's budget proposes a 2.9 percent cut in infrastructure funding below last year's levels. The budget proposes to cut $1.8 billion from the Highway program, $200 million from the Transit program and $750 million from the Airport Improvement program...

WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 4, 2008 -- President Bush today released a $3.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2009, which the Associated General Contractors of America says shrinks domestic spending and reduces the amount of money aimed at infrastructure investment at a time when it is needed most. The Administration's budget proposes a 2.9 percent cut in infrastructure funding below last year's levels.

"At a time when we're looking for ways to stimulate the economy, cutting infrastructure spending is short-sighted," said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). "This budget does not help to promote job growth and protection in a declining economy."

Over the last year there has been a 2.1 percent decline in nonresidential construction employment, which translates into 21,000 lost jobs.

The budget proposes to cut $1.8 billion from the Highway program, $200 million from the Transit program and $750 million from the Airport Improvement program.

"In the budget, the Administration is failing to meet the spending commitments made under SAFETEA-LU for highway and transit investment," continued Sandherr. "Instead of a practical solution to fix the looming Highway Trust Fund crisis, which would guarantee full funding to states, the Administration relies on smoke and mirrors by shifting money from the transit account."

The Administration's proposal of $4.4 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program demonstrates a failure to invest in the nation's water resources infrastructure. The President's budget proposes to cut the program by $800 million over what was enacted by Congress for fiscal year 2008.

The Administration also continues its longstanding effort to eliminate funding for water infrastructure investment by proposing a $134 million cut in the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States.

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Also see:
-- Information on the President's proposed USGS FY 2009 budget
-- "Mich. could lose in Bush budget plan
-- "Ohio Sen. Brown touts federal funding fix for Ohio's aging water, sewer lines"
-- "EPA's FY 2009 budget focuses on next phase of environmental progress"
-- "President's FY 2009 budget proposal includes $968M for USGS"

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