Obama to push for infrastructure projects, resulting jobs
President Obama in 2011 stood in front of the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Potomac River to address the country's infrastructure
May 14th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
7 months ago

Obama to push for infrastructure projects, resulting jobs

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(CNN) – In a bid to address the country's crumbling infrastructure, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will use the backdrop of New York's outdated Tappan Zee Bridge to warn that House Republicans are jeopardizing thousands of American jobs by failing to replenish the nation's highway trust fund.

"While a bipartisan group of members in the Senate are working toward a compromise, there has been no progress by House Republicans to date on the issue. A look at the House Republican approach to infrastructure shows the same top-down approach to the economy that isn't good for the middle class or jobs," a White House official said.

The White House official is referring to a transportation bill put forth by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat.

The bill was introduced earlier this week, with some Republican support.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration is encouraged by the Boxer bill - but officials are concerned it doesn't go far enough.

The push comes as the federal Highway Trust Fund is rapidly dwindling, setting up a so-called "transportation cliff" toward the end of August. Fueled by gasoline taxes, the fund hasn't been able to keep up with spending demands as Americans spend less on fuel.

Returning to the White House's theme of a "year of action," Obama also will announce an executive action to streamline infrastructure permitting at the federal level.

The Tappan Zee Bridge in New York's lower Hudson Valley, a more-than-16,000 foot cantilever structure, is in a state of disrepair after years of overuse; a replacement Hudson River span is set to open in 2018.

Meanwhile, America's highways and bridges - and other critical parts of the nation's transportation infrastructure such as railways - need serious upgrades and repairs. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives U.S. infrastructure a D+ in terms of condition and performance.

Obama has laid out a plan that would supplement the Highway Trust Fund with $150 billion for new infrastructure investments, which the White House says would both repair dangerous roads and bridges and put more Americans back to work.

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    He has the perfect project to create jobs, and he refuses to endorse it.

    No one in America should be listening to this excuse for a President. Absolutely no one.

    May 14, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Dar

    Wasn't this supposed to be part of the shovel ready jobs that Obama was bragging about a few years ago??
    Obama has been crying about infrastructure for years now and has done nothing but spend money on anything else but infrastructure upgrades.
    I never heard anyone complain about spending money on this, so why has it taken so long to get started?
    Lets get er done guys!!! Get started already!!! Quit wining and pointing the fingers at others, Obama is the boss and should act like one.
    As for only Union Labor doing the work........B.S. I am tired of Obama catering to the few and not to everyone like he should be doing. I am surprised that he doesn't say it should be all blacks doing the work. AND don't say I am a racist!!!
    Just telling it like it is people.

    May 14, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    --all these right wingers wanted was Obama to be one term president, these idiots don't care for USA nor talk sense. Where did money come for IRAQ WAR? I think this nation sees huge free money paid to so-called "veterans". Looting to free money for serving just two years rest of their life. It is free money for life. Know this.

    May 14, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Warren

    Well said TAMPA TIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 14, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. smith1

    Rudy in New York said it best. Nice to see that people like him and Tone still exist. Creating jobs is good for everyone. This should not be a party issue but an American issue. Helping the country should be the priority. Problems passing this, comments from the right should be a big reason for intelligent people to vote mid term and get these crazies out of office.

    May 14, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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