USDOT Spent Record $114 Billion in FY 2022
October 28, 2022|Jeff Davis
The final Monthly Treasury Statement for fiscal year 2022 revealed that the U.S. Department of Transportation spent a net $113.7 billion in fiscal year 2022, an all-time high.
But the aggregated nature of the reporting in the MTS (most accounts within a modal administration lumped together into one line) makes it difficult to see just how much of that spending is for programs on the rise (those boosted by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act) versus those on the wane (the temporary COVID aid programs).
By the end of next month, we should have the Combined Statement online that shows every budget account, to the penny, and the annual additions to, and subtractions from, the balances on each account. But even then, it will be difficult, since the COVID aid for mass transit and the supplementary IIJA funding for mass transit capital both have the same account name, “Transit Infrastructure Grants,” so the amounts will be combined for most public reporting.
The reporting in the MTS was outlays – the cash going out the door to liquidate, or pay off, an obligation like a work week completed, a purchase delivered, or a contract fulfilled. Since those outlays can lag the spending decisions made by Congress and the Administration by weeks, months, or years, it is pretty clear that most of the high-water-mark spending for 2023 was COVID, not IIJA.
Here are the outlay totals for every USDOT mode for the last five fiscal years, in millions of dollars.
|FY 2018||FY 2019||FY 2020||FY 2021||FY 2022|
The Federal Transit Administration spent $34.1 billion in 2022, almost three times its annual budget five years ago, and that is largely COVID-based. The interesting thing is that the FY 2022 COVID spending was so much higher than the FY 2020 or 2021 COVID spending, since it was 2020 and 2021 that had the peak ridership drop.
The fact that transit agencies banked so much of their COVID aid was specifically called out by the Treasury Secretary and the OMB Director in their annual joint statement on the budget results: “Outlays for the Department of Transportation were $113.7 billion, $9.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate. More than half of this difference was due to slower-than-expected spending of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) COVID supplemental funding for a variety of reasons, including supply chain disruptions and labor force shortages that impacted local transit agencies’ ability to spend Federal funds. ”
And Federal Railroad Administration spending dropped off substantially as well. FRA funding includes the Amtrak budget, and since Amtrak is, technically, not part of the federal government, its grants tend to “spend out” for budget purposes the minute they get their annual grants approved. (The money sits on Amtrak’s books for years until actually spent by Amtrak. It doesn’t sit on Uncle Sam’s books waiting for Amtrak to spend it.)
But this has also changed, per the Treasury-OMB statement: “The other major reason for the difference was that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Amtrak agreed to a new payment method for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act supplemental funds, under which FRA will outlay quarterly based on Amtrak’s estimated funding needs for the upcoming period.”
It was at the Federal Highway Administration where we got the most substantive proof that the increased IIJA funding is already hitting the streets and doing some good. At FHWA, the COVID and and some of the supplementary IIJA money is from the general fund, but most of FHWA’s funding increase under the IIJA was channeled through the Highway Trust Fund and the regular old Federal-Aid Highways Account. And that account had its biggest August ever and its second-largest September ever.
|FHWA OUTLAYS BY MONTH (MILLION DOLLARS)|
September 22, 2023 | Jeff Davis
September 22, 2023 - Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg survived a six-and-a-half-hour hearing before the full T&I panel on September 20...
August 4, 2023 | Glendedora Dolce
August 4, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a new center called Project Delivery Center of Excellence, which...
July 7, 2023 | Jeff Davis
July 7, 2023 - The Biden Administration's latest round of RAISE grant announcements has an all-time high share of bike-ped...
June 16, 2023 | Glendedora Dolce
June 14, 2023 - The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works this week held a hearing with Federal...
June 16, 2023 | Robert Puentes, Karen Price
June 13, 2023 - Earlier this week, Eno staff attended the White House launch of a new federal agency designed...
May 26, 2023 | Jeff Davis
May 26, 2023 - The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a new study this week entitled Travel and Tourism: DOT...
April 14, 2023 | Jeff Davis
April 14, 2023 - This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $295.7 million in funding for nine competitive selectees...
March 31, 2023 | Philip Plotch
March 31, 2023 - A subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a public hearing on March 28...
February 24, 2023 | Jeff Davis
February 24, 2023 - Last August, the Federal Highway Administration almost let $250 million in highway funding lapse forever, unspent,...
February 3, 2023 | Jeff Davis
February 3, 2023 - On February 1, the Biden Administration announced the distribution of $800 million in road safety grant...
January 20, 2023 | Jeff Davis
January 16, 2023 - The New Year gives us a good opportunity to update our ongoing status page on how...
January 6, 2023 | Jeff Davis
January 6, 2023 - The Biden Administration announced this week that four highway bridge projects will split nearly $2.1 billion...