President Obama signs stimulus legislation

| 2/18/2009

The economic stimulus legislation of nearly $790 billion is now law. President Barack Obama signed the final version Tuesday, Feb. 17.

The legislation contains $48.1 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation, including $27.5 billion for highways and another $1.5 billion in discretionary grants that could be used for highways.

Truckers will be affected by the stimulus because it will lead to loads to haul in addition to promised improvements to highways and bridges.

A conference committee of top U.S. representatives and senators agreed on the final language last week after the House and Senate voted on their respective versions.

The package is split into tax cuts and government spending in an effort to build the economy.

Tax cuts in the final version totaled 27 percent, while mandatory spending totaled 34 percent. Other appropriations, including the U.S. DOT funding, make up the rest according to Transportation Weekly.

Big-ticket items in transportation were the $27.5 billion for highways and bridges; $8 billion for high-speed intercity passenger rail; $6.9 billion for transportation formula grants; $1.5 billion in discretionary grants; $1.3 billion for Amtrak; and tens of millions of dollars set aside for airports, transit modernizations and shipyards.

– By David Tanner, staff writer