Obama Redistributes Earmarks into Transportation Projects

The Obama administration today announced that it will redistribute more than $470 million in unspent earmarks from fiscal year 2003-2006 appropriations acts to states for transportation infrastructure projects.

Calling it a "use it or lose it 'We Can't Wait'" action, the administration said it would help put thousands of construction workers on the job.

“My administration will continue to do everything we can to put Americans back to work,” said President Obama. “We’re not going to let politics stand between construction workers and good jobs repairing our roads and bridges.”

States must identify the projects they plan to use the funds for by Oct. 1, and must obligate them by Dec. 31, 2012. A balance sheet was released showing where the funds weren't spent that are now being rolled into the new pool of project cash. The funds will be able to be spent on any eligible highway, transit, passenger rail, or port project, said the White House.

Funds not obligated by the Dec. 31 deadline will be proportionally redistributed in FY 2013 to states that met the deadline.

“We are freeing up these funds so states can get down to the business of moving transportation projects forward and putting our friends and neighbors back to work,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.