Surface Transportation Funding and Programs Under MAP-21: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141) [September 27, 2012]   [open pdf - 425KB]

"On July 6, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21; P.L. 112-141). The act authorized spending on federal highway and public transportation programs, surface transportation safety and research, and some rail programs and activities through September 30, 2014. MAP-21 authorized roughly $105 billion for FY2013 and FY2014 combined. It also extended FY2012 surface transportation authorizations to the end of the fiscal year, raising the total authorization to approximately $118 billion. Most of the funding for surface transportation bills has been drawn from the highway trust fund (HTF) since its creation in 1956, but the HTF, which receives revenue mainly from federal motor fuel taxes, has, due to a sluggish economy and improvements in fuel efficiency, received revenue substantially below projections. For the past several years, HTF revenue has been insufficient to finance the government's surface transportation programs, leading Congress to delay reauthorization for 33 months following expiration of the last multi-year reauthorization. Although Congress was unable to agree on a long-term solution to the HTF revenue issue, MAP- 21 did provide for the transfer of sufficient general fund revenues to the HTF to fund a two-year bill. MAP-21 made major changes in the programmatic structure for both highways and public transportation and included initiatives intended to increase program efficiency through performance-based planning and the streamlining of project development."

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CRS Report for Congress, R42762
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