Federal road funding for the state of Oklahoma should not be affected if no action is taken and the looming fiscal cliff comes to pass, the state's transportation chief said Monday.
“Our understanding is that it should not affect us a very great deal in transportation,” state Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley said.
“Indirectly, all of us recognize that when Congress and the federal government have a hiccup, that it will affect everything.”
It's estimated Oklahoma could lose $137 million in direct federal funding as a result of the fiscal cliff, or sequestration, which refers to automatic, governmentwide spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1.
Oklahoma finance officials have said the $137 million in projected losses of federal funding includes $50 million in funding for education and more than $40 million for health and human services.
Several federal funding streams would not be affected by the looming cuts, including funds for Medicaid, transportation, Social Security payments, food stamps and most veterans' programs.
“We are not aware of any problems associated with the federal funds coming to transportation based on what we know,” Ridley said.
The state Transportation Department is to receive about $600 million from the federal government this year, he said.
About $100 million is earmarked for county and city road and bridge projects while the rest is dedicated for state projects.
The Transportation Department will receive about $540 million of state money this year.
A stalemate continues in Washington, with the president wanting to extend all expiring tax cuts except those that apply to incomes over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.
Most Republican congressional leaders argue that would harm the economy and instead are pushing for specific cuts.