7 Examples of President Obama Urging U.S. Infrastructure Investment 2010-2013

There are even more examples of President Obama urging Congress to pass infrastructure investment, this cannot be ignored nor denied by anyone. Will Congress act? With two bridge collapses under America’s belt now, before even more occur hopefully congress will do something about it. If not they are to blame. The list of bridges that are in need of updates and repair needs to be as near to zero as possible.

1. September 6, 2010: President Obama spent Labor Day in the Midwest and introduced a new $50 billion infrastructure proposal that he says will create new jobs. Jeffrey Brown has more.

2. October 10, 2010: After meeting with Cabinet secretaries, former secretaries of Transportation and mayors and governors on infrastructure investment, the President discusses why it will help our country and boost our economy.

3. November 11, 2011: The President urges Congress to pass the infrastructure piece of the American Jobs Act. November 2, 2011.

4. April 30, 2012: President Obama speaks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Conference about creating good jobs for American workers, who can help our economy grow by rebuilding our nation’s roads, bridges, train tracks, and airports. April 30, 2012.

5. March 29, 2013: President Obama discusses his plan to create jobs by investing in rebuilding the infrastructure that powers our businesses and our economy.

6. May 5, 2013: President Obama delivers remarks at Ellicot Dredges about growing the economy, creating jobs, and improving U.S. competitiveness by investing in 21st century infrastructure.

7. About the American Jobs Bill:

90 Second Summaries: Season 2, Episode 26
Rebuild America Jobs Act
Was introduced the week of 10/31/11
Sponsor: Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
More at http://bit.ly/S02E26

Cosponsors: None
Status: Will likely be inserted in place of a dead House-passed bill or other legislation on the Senate calendar. Will be brought to the Senate floor this week, but is exceedingly unlikely to garner the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster on a motion to proceed to debate.

House Companion: No direct counterpart.

Purpose: In early September, Obama announced the American Jobs Act in a major speech to a joint session of Congress. Republicans initially sounded open to possible negotiations, but soon hardened their stance in opposition. While dead on arrival in the House, the American Jobs Act was considered in the Senate, but a motion to proceed to debate was blocked on October 11th. On the heels of that defeat, Majority Leader Reid vowed to bring up each section of the bill as a stand alone measure. The Rebuild America Jobs Act, focused on popular and sorely needed infrastructure investments, is the second such measure to be considered.

Summary: The $60 billion Rebuild America Jobs Act closely mirrors the infrastructure section of the original American Jobs Act, . It contains three major components:

1) Infrastructure Bank. Cost: $10 billion
• Creation of a National Infrastructure Bank, modeled on the Kerry-Hutchison BUILD Act. The measure creates the American Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA), an independent government-owned corporation. AIFA could leverage up to $640 billion in combined public and private infrastructure spending over the next decade.

2) Direct Infrastructure Spending. Cost: $50 billion
• This direct government investment using traditional means includes: highways, passenger and freight rail, and port infrastructure projects through the Highway Trust Fund ($27B), transit system repairs ($9B), Amtrak ($2B), high-speed rail ($4B), airport improvements ($2B), NextGen air traffic modernization technology ($1B), and innovative multimodal transportation programs awarded through a competitive grant process ($5B).

3) Millionaire’s Tax to Pay for the Investments. Revenue: ~$60 billion
• Imposes a 0.7% surtax on taxable income over $1 million for both single and joint filers, taking effect in 2013.

Note: Reid’s choice to pay for this legislation with a tax source considered unacceptable by Republicans reflects the reality that virtually nothing proposed by Democrats has a chance of passing through this Congress, even though many Republicans have supported very similar infrastructure proposals in the past. Thus, the appearance of this bill is driven primarily by political considerations, part of an ongoing effort to frame Republicans as nihilistic obstructionists.

CBO Score: None provided. CBO did score the American Jobs Act (both S.1549 and S. 1660): http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=2875

Supporters: President Obama, most Democrats, AFL-CIO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, infrastructure advocates, etc.
• Supporters see this as a win-win proposal, one that would help close the $2.2 trillion “infrastructure gap” and simultaneously create tens of thousands of jobs.
Opponents: most Republicans, Tea Party activists
• Some opponents believe only the private sector, not government, can create jobs, and the best way to turn the economy around is to shrink the government. Furthermore, they staunchly oppose the taxes increases on the rich proposed as offsets. Some, however, simply see continued economic troubles as a boon for Republicans in 2012.

Further links
Full bill text (from the American Jobs Act): http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s1660/text
(Secs. 241-260)
Senate Dems fact sheet on the bill: http://democrats.senate.gov/2011/10/21/fact-sheet-rebuild-america-jobs-act/
Main Street Insider’s summary of the full American Jobs Act: Obama’s Job Plan in 90 Seconds http://www.mainstreetinsider.org/90secondsummaries/?p=489
Bloomberg article: Senate Dems Propose $60 Billion Dollar Bill in Spending for Bridges, Roads http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-21/senate-democrats-propose-60-billion-in-infrastructure-spending.html

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