President Bush wants Congress to cut the Department of Transportation's budget by 3.5 percent, targeting programs such as high-speed rail, federal rail loans and Amtrak.
The budget blueprint Bush sent to Congress Feb. 7 would reduce DOT's allocation to $59.5 billion from the $61.7 billion Congress gave the department the current fiscal year.
Bush wants to eliminate Amtrak funding unless Congress passes major reform to the nation's passenger rail system. Bush also asked Congress to axe the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program, better known as RRIF loans.
Officials in the modal agencies and on Capitol Hill took the budget cuts in stride, with several noting that Bush's recommendations are only that. Congress will ultimately decide how much funding DOT will receive.
The White House proposal is an $800 million increase over the $58.7 billion it proposed last year, when Congress added $3 billion to the White House budget request for DOT.