ODOT Preparing for Fallout From Another Federal Budget Showdown

Dec 4, 2018

Congress is again fighting over the federal budget, to the dismay of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

U.S. lawmakers have until Dec. 21 to settle seven appropriations bills and avoid a partial government shutdown. ODOT Director and Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Mike Patterson said a compromise getting through the rest of the federal fiscal year may not be in the cards.

"Obviously, we would hope for the rest of the year to be available to us after legislation this week, but I’m really anticipating yet another continuing resolution," Patterson said.

A continuing resolution would just delay a potential government shutdown into next year. Any federal budget uncertainty will have consequences for ODOT.

"It’s going to slow down some of our construction program because we don’t have the federal funds necessary to go ahead and authorize out into the future so that we can get them on the bid letting," Patterson said.

The original deadline to pass a spending plan was Friday, but Congress pushed it back because of former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral on Wednesday.

Funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall appears to be the main sticking point in congressional budget negotiations.