Congress Finance President

This Week in Washington: Budget FY 2010

The President will reveal his priorities for the next year in a Congressional address and in his budget proposal

Tonight, President Obama will speak to a joint session of Congress in a pseudo-State of the Union address. He will describe his legislative priorities for the year – in terms of health care, the environment, and potentially transportation issues.

The Overhead Wire suggests that the President’s proposed Livable Community initiative might provide increasing funds for streetcars and other forms of transit, but we haven’t heard much about that program so far. With the economy continuing its downward spiral, it seems likely that this won’t be high on the priority list and probably won’t be mentioned in the speech to Congress.

There have been a number of reports, however, that suggest that Mr. Obama will be working for the inclusion of at least $1 billion more for high-speed rail in the 2010 budget, and considering that this is on top of the $8 billion already included in the stimulus, the President might see fit to at least mention the issue tonight. We’ll see.

No matter what, though, on Thursday, Mr. Obama will unveil his proposed FY 2010 budget. No details on transportation issues have leaked yet, but we should expect to see more details on funding for Amtrak, high-speed rail, and transit.

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