H.R. 4348, MAP-21

Cost Estimate
June 29, 2012

Table 1 was revised on July 3, 2012, to show corrected estimates for transportation contract authority. There are no changes in estimates of outlays or effects on the deficit.

Cost estimate for the bill as posted on the website of the House Committee on Rules on June 28, 2012.

The Congressional Budget Office has reviewed the conference report for H.R. 4348, MAP-21, as posted on the Web site of the House Committee on Rules on June 28, 2012.

CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4348 would reduce budget deficits over the 2012-2022 period by $16.3 billion. That figure does not include effects that may be counted for budget enforcement purposes in the House of Representatives. Specifically, the House- passed budget resolution calls for counting transfers from the general fund of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund as new spending.

Major provisions of the legislation that would affect the budget (see Table 1) would:

  • Reauthorize, through fiscal year 2014, the surface transportation programs administered by the Federal-Aid Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and certain programs administered by the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Administration;
  • Establish the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund and require that 80 percent of any administrative and civil penalties paid to the federal government under the Clean Water Act in connection with the April 2010 explosion at the Deepwater Horizon facility in the Gulf of Mexico be deposited into that trust fund and made available to be spent;
  • Change the interest rate that pension plans use to measure their liabilities, increase pension premium rates for both variable and flat rate premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and establish a cap on the variable rate premium;
  • Provide payments to certain states by reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Payments In Lieu of Taxes programs;
  • Allow eligible federal employees to enter into a phased retirement, during which they continue to work part time while drawing a partial salary and a partial civil service retirement annuity;
  • Reduce the additional Medicaid payments to Louisiana that it will receive based on prior declarations of federal disasters;
  • Repeal a requirement that the Department of Transportation reimburse the difference in cost between shipping foreign food aid on a U.S.-flag ship and a foreign-flag ship;
  • Reduce mandatory payments to states that have completed certain reclamation projects on land formerly used for mining;
  • Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program through 2017 and increase premiums for some subsidized policies;
  • Retain an interest rate of 3.4 percent on all new subsidized student loans until June 30, 2013, and change the interest the federal government pays on behalf of some borrowers who are attending school; and
  • Raise additional revenue by increasing the ability of businesses with excess assets in their pension funds to use them for retiree health and life insurance benefits, and by defining businesses that make roll-your-own machines available for consumer use as tobacco manufacturers.

CBO estimates that implementing the legislation also would lead to discretionary spending of $95.9 billion over the 2013-2017 period (see Table 2); such spending would be subject to future appropriation actions. Of that amount, the spending on transportation programs would total $94.3 billion, which reflects estimated obligation levels for 2013 and 2014 that are approximately equal to the obligation levels for 2012, adjusted for inflation.

In addition, CBO estimates that implementing provisions of the conference report for the remainder of 2012, 2013, and 2014 would result in an end-of-year balance in 2014 of approximately $4 billion in the highway account of the Highway Trust Fund and about$1 billion in the transit account of the Highway Trust Fund. Table 3 provides a projection of future spending, revenues, and remaining balances in the Highway Trust Fund over the next 10 years.

I hope this information is useful to you. If you need additional details, we will be pleased to provide them. The staff contact is Sarah Puro.