President Obama's proposed fiscal 2011 budget would create a national infrastructure bank to fund major transportation projects as part of a $79 billion budget, a nearly $2 billion (2 percent) increase.

"President Obama's FY 2011 budget request reflects his vision for the future of transportation in America," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "His plan sets the stage for bold, new, innovative thinking and provides solutions to complex problems."

The infrastructure bank "will establish a new direction in federal infrastructure investment that emphasizes demonstrable merit and analytical measures of performance," the budget states. It calls for $4 billion to establish the National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund (NIIFF) that will issue grants, loans, or a combination to support transportation projects that provide a significant economic benefit to the nation or a region.

For the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the $570 million requested is a $20 million increase above FY 2010 enacted levels.

The FMCSA budget includes $13 million for operating expenses to allow FMCSA to fully deploy Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010, the new operating enforcement business model for the Agency, including resources for enforcement, monitoring, and training, as well as rulemaking and regulatory priorities. Within this amount, nearly $7 million is included for additional motor carrier safety inspectors and personnel to conduct safety enforcement and compliance operations.

Other highlights of the requested transportation budget:

* $50 million for a new Distracted Driver Prevention Program in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which will promote laws to curtail unsafe cell phone use and eliminate texting while driving.

* $1 million to fully implement an enhanced motor carrier applicant screening system to detect unsafe motor carriers that are attempting to avoid a previous history of poor safety performance by registering with FMCSA under a new name.

* $42.1 billion for the Federal-aid Highway program which assists states with highway and bridge projects, including $200 million for a competitive Livable Communities grant program.