Wednesday, September 08, 2010

President's $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan; Republicans Oppose

Sep 6: In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, President Obama announced a comprehensive infrastructure plan to expand and renew our nation's roads, railways and runways. The White House said the proposal is among a set of targeted initiatives that the President will outline in Cleveland on Wednesday (September 8) to support our economic recovery and ensure long-term sustainable growth. The plan builds upon the infrastructure investments the President has already made through the Recovery Act, includes principles the President put forth during the campaign, and emphasizes American competitiveness and innovation. 
    The President said, "I am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America's roads and rails and runways for the long term.  (Applause.)  I want America to have the best infrastructure in the world. We used to have the best infrastructure in the world.  We can have it again.  We are going to make it happen. Over the next six years, over the next six years, we are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads -- that's enough to circle the world six times. That's a lot of road. We're going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways -- enough to stretch coast to coast. We're going to restore 150 miles of runways. And we're going to advance a next-generation air-traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers. . .
    "This is a plan that will be fully paid for. It will not add to the deficit over time -- we're going to work with Congress to see to that. We want to set up an infrastructure bank to leverage federal dollars and focus on the smartest investments. We're going to continue our strategy to build a national high-speed rail network that reduces congestion and travel times and reduces harmful emissions. . . But the bottom line is this, Milwaukee -- this will not only create jobs immediately, it's also going to make our economy hum over the long haul. It's a plan that history tells us can and should attract bipartisan support. . ."
    House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued a statement on the stimulus spending plan President Obama outlined in Milwaukee and said, "As the American people, facing near double-digit unemployment, mark Labor Day by asking, where are the jobs, the White House has chosen to double-down on more of the same failed 'stimulus' spending. Eighteen months ago, the Administration promised that if we passed their trillion-dollar 'stimulus' it would create jobs 'immediately' and keep unemployment below eight percent. Instead, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and unemployment is approaching 10 percent. If we've learned anything from the past 18 months, it's that we can't spend our way to prosperity. We don't need more government 'stimulus' spending -- we need to end Washington Democrats' out-of-control spending spree, stop their tax hikes, and create jobs by eliminating the job-killing uncertainty that is hampering our small businesses."
    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a statement on what he called "the administration's latest stimulus and tax hike proposal for infrastructure spending" and said, "After the administration pledged that a trillion dollars in borrowed stimulus money would create 4 million jobs and keep the unemployment rate under 8 percent, their latest plan for another stimulus should be met with justifiable skepticism. After failing to deliver on their economic promises for more than 18 months, the administration wants to do it again--this time with higher taxes for even more new spending. Americans are rightly skeptical about Washington Democrats asking for more of their money -- and their patience; after all, they're still looking for the 'shovel-ready' jobs they were promised more than a year ago. A last-minute, cobbled-together stimulus bill with more than $50 billion in new tax hikes will not reverse the complete lack of confidence Americans have in Washington Democrats' ability to help this economy."
    Today (September 8) the President was delivering remarks between 2-4 PM outlining a set of targeted initiatives to support economic recovery and ensure long-term sustainable growth at the Cuyahoga Community College West Campus in Cleveland, Ohio. The President proposed a research and development tax credit and investment tax credits for business development in the U.S. Before the White House had posted the text of the speech or further details, the Republican Senate and House leaders issued statements opposing the plan.
    Representative Boehner said, "If the president is serious about finally focusing on jobs, a good start would be taking the advice of his recently departed budget director and freezing all tax rates, coupled with cutting federal spending to where it was before all the bailouts, government takeovers, and 'stimulus' spending sprees." Senator McConnell said, "If the President wanted to have an immediate impact on hiring, he could begin by changing his mind and announcing today his opposition to the job-killing tax hikes on small businesses. America's job creators have already been hit with higher health care costs and related taxes, new bureaucracy and a financial regulation bill. Americans want jobs, not more government, more debt and more taxes. Let's start today with a declarative statement against tax hikes on the small businesses that are critical to expand and create jobs."
    Access the full text of the President's Milwaukee speech (click here). Access a White House fact sheet on the proposal (click here). Access a White House blog posting from Ray LaHood Secretary of Transportation on the proposal with links to related information and video (click here). Access the statement from Representative Boehner (click here). Access the statement from Senator McConnell (click here).