August 2nd, 2007
11:07 AM ET
10 years ago

Reid: Country needs to look at infrastructure

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Thursday that the Minneapolis bridge collapse should be a “wake-up call” for the country.

“We have all over the country crumbling infrastructure - highways, bridges, dams - and we really need to take a hard look at this,” said Reid.

In addition to being the “right thing to do,” Reid also said that repairing infrastructure was “good for America.” “For every billion dollars we spend in our crumbling infrastructure, 47,000 high-paying jobs are created,” added Reid.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to Minneapolis to investigate the cause of the bridge collapse.

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Daniel Romens, Madison WI

    I love people like RightyTighty and the like, who criticize Reid as a fast spending democrat. He says Harry likes to spend our money. Let's ignore the fact that the Republican Administration and Congress took us into a war that is now looking likely to cost over a trillion dollars.

    The Right side of the aisle has lost all credibility in any further argument regarding spending. Just sit down.

    August 2, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Dale, Prescott, AZ

    Instead of bickering about whether the president or any of congress is the issue here, wake up and realize that many of the maintenance issues of infratructure are at the local and state levels. Just because we have a maintenance budget doesn't mean that it is sufficient. How many times are our schools left falling apart because no one wants to pay for upkeep, they just want shiney new buildings...

    August 2, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. St. Louis, MO

    Anyone who is old enough will remember that it was Ronald Reagan who said government was the problem. Since then we have cut spending (and taxes) for all domestic concerns – health care, infrastructure, environment, food safety, education – all under the guise of smaller government is better and privitization of everything is the answer. Well it's not better. This is not a state vs. federal issue – we all live in this country together. It is our country. Just who should pay for the upkeep of bridges and roads. Just who should pay for health care in this country? No one wants to pay taxes either on the state of federal level. Where do we get the money to take care of our country? We have spent 27 years cutting taxes and the only time we had a balanced budget was during the Clinton years. We have saddled the future generations (my children and grandchildren) with unbelievable debt for this war but we can't provide them with doctor visits. Oh that's right providing that would be SOCIALISM or better yet COMMUNISM. Let's all duck and hide. And for all of you collecting your V.A. benefits and Medicare benefits, you could never pass that legislation today. Nor could you pass social security (of any kind) today. We are too selfish. Every since 1980 it has been me first and the hell with everyone else. The roosters are beginning to come home but by God there will not be gay marriage in this country and we will outlaw abortion. I think we should outlaw divorce too and then all the Republican candidates would have to actually stayed married to one spouse.

    August 2, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Don Cordell Lancaster, CA

    Our highway system was started in 1951, and has rotted away since then. Bad pavement, bad bridges, poor highway layout, all 55 + years old, when Don Cordell is elected President in 2008, new highways for Trucks, total repair of our infrastructure. NO more aid to foreign nations, America first. NO more imports from China, Made in America, hire Americans, return jobs to America. 2008 will give you the chance to save America, if you care. No Republicans, no Democrates vote for Independent candidate for President, and turn this country around.

    August 2, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. Informit, Jacksonville, NC

    Is there anybody else out there that is getting tired of hearing from our government, "lessons learned, a mistake was made, we'll do better from now on,...."
    We as a people are being overtaxed, lied to, neglected, and played like violins! The infrastructure in this country is failing due to being antiquated and neglected by our government while it steals, embezzles, wastes, and gives away to our enemies!
    It is way past time that we the people of this country takes back our government and elect representatives that will strive to do what is right for Americans!


    August 2, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. Cozy D. , Keene, NH

    Events such as these will only increase in occurrance as America's infrastructure slowly degrades in the coming years. Testaments to our apathy – it is not a contemporary American interest to fix something that isn't "broken". We should get used to these kinds of things happened and being publicized (and we should hope that they remain publicized and not become numb or boring stories for the media outlets). Signs for us to wake up! If we don't watch our health, we surely will decay. Yes, America needs to brush its teeth twice a day now.
    Also, I do believe in the next decade we will have to see a NEW new deal, as our roads, sewers, lines, electricity age and require urgent maintenance and attention!

    August 2, 2007 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. Mark, Chicago, IL

    The right wingers on this blog are completely ignoring the total waste of money in Iraq, what with no bid contracts that are stealing our tax money, the missing tens of millions in Iraq, the subsidies for the oil companies back home, and the tax cuts for those who don't need them – corporations and individuals.

    Neocons don't want you to know anything about that. But it's so easy to find out all about it.

    Neocons on this blog are spouting off about what our gov't 'should' spend our money on. Not having a clue or at least ignoring the gross waste of money their taxes have been squandered on so far by this most inept administration with their 'philosophy of smaller gov't'. Spouting off tirades when Dems address REAL issues. Trying to tell us that reality makes not a difference at all – but that tax cuts do.

    Civics 101, morons. Gov'ts are in place to provide for INFRASTRUCTURE. That's where our money should go. If you want a tax cut and you fall to your death on a collapsed bridge, remember – you can't take your tax cut with you.

    August 2, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. Ed, New York

    Infrastructure=taxes. It really is that simple. Years of intentional cutting by the right and fear to be labeled tax and spend by the left (and ignorant in the center) presages such events – Hopefully future collapses will not overtake the news like this one has

    August 2, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. Tai, Maui, Hawaii.

    I do not know about the infrastructure across the entire country, but in Hawaii. . . there was a busted sewer pipe in Honolulu that flooded an area of the bay resulting in beach closings, pollution of the ocean, and lots of money to repair AND a failed earthen dam that washed down the mountain on Kauai during a wet period and killed some. Here are two recent examples of failing infrastructure on a local level. This is the beginning of the end for America. Our economy is faltering, people cannot pay for homes or credit cards, we do not generate our own goods and are dependent on other nations for our 'toys', and politicians and CEOs look for ways to insulate themselves from the chaos rather than taking action to improve the situation. Maybe it is too late and we should all wake up and take notice of the writing on the wall – which is now at the bottom of the Missippi River.

    August 2, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. benway emeraldcity ks

    one question: how many people who got tax cuts were commuters in the Mpls collapse?

    August 2, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. Carl, Dallas, TX

    To those pointing a finger at Bush and the Iraq war for our failing infrastructure is pure comedy...

    IT HAS BEEN FAILING FOR 30 YEARS.... If you point and blame one man, then you're too dumb to breed in my opinion.

    Everyone is at fault, from the politicians to our government to ourselves demanding so much in return for giving so little...

    Someone earlier commented on how great Germany is when it comes to their roadways.... yeah they toll them and they spend their tax money well..

    In this country, we hardly do either. Oh yeah and it's a $500 dollar fine to curse of flick off a motorist in Germany. Talk about balancing the stupid budget here in our country if we could implement that law!

    August 2, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. Carl, Dallas, TX

    Stop using the Iraq war as an excuse for this. This is what educated people call... DENIAL

    August 2, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  13. Todd Cameron Brown

    These people denouncing comments about examining our crumbling infrastructure are the same idiots who shut down the sports leagues for a week after 9/11. They pick and choose their distasters to clean up after based on politics. They probably work for FEMA and the White House.

    August 2, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. John from America

    And once again we have "Jon from Sacramento" the official fact twister from the GOP! No Jon the money we are spending in Iraq is not going to our troops – it's going to Halliburton and the other GOP front companies ripping off the American Public. Jon – you obviously have enough money to live a very comfortable life and your spending a lot of time trying to convince ordinary Americans that our tax dollars should only go for the GOP's favorite Pork Barrel projects! Well – we don't believe you – so go to the country club and quit your lying!

    August 2, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. Carol, Seattle, WA

    American infrastructure is in bad shape, having been neglected for decades. It started in a big way with Reagan and the anti-New Deal backlash, with its hostility toward the whole idea of our having a government. This is what happens when people "starve the beast" that is our own government. Anyone who thinks that 3 decades of tax cuts hasn't impacted our ability to maintain our basic infrastructure is indulging in wishful thinking. Grownups don't expect government to be anything but imperfect, often infuriating, often wasteful or misguided–just like the private sector can be. We're stuck with imperfect human institutions as a necessary means of taking care of ourselves and each other. We've got to start raising taxes again and funding maintenance of infrastructure.

    August 2, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. Barabas, Hot City, TX

    I genuinely cannot believe what I'm reading. Are all you people really being brainwashed by this media spin? There was one bridge collapse...ONE. How many bridges are up and running with no problems whatsoever?

    One bridge falls and all of a sudden every road in the U.S. is about to crumble and is being held up with duct tape as far as you all are concerned. If this bridge hadn't fallen, you all would still be debating over who looks better in a dress....Hillary or Obama. Now, all of a sudden, crumbling U.S. infrastructure is a National epidemic.

    I feel sorry for all of you. You are out of it mentally. Get a grip...get a grip....get a grip!

    August 2, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. michael joseph, MPLS, MN

    I live 1.5 blocks from the 35W bridge and was on the scene 5 min. after trying to help (along with speckles of other early onlookers). There were a good many i noticed in action and passing conversation who were anxious to aid. Cool-headed but compelled to run towards the water. Everyday people, if presented with the opportunity, often show themselves to be heroes. I saw many heroes in action from the NE riverbank under the 10th st. bridge. Our political leaders can only speachify it seams. They arrive after the fact for a camera and attempt to claim a glimmer of the greatness displayed ignominously by average joes live and have history with the community for more time than it takes to touch down and convene a photo-op.

    It's a tragedy now, but wait a short while to process all this, find out some more, and this incident, like Katrina in NOLA, will be indicative of our disrepair here at home.

    Neglect is something every person can recognize, and more and more Americans see it around us and feel it in our collective, national soul. Though some time off, 2008 WILL indeed be a change reflection. No amount of forseable circumstances nor poor, contrived, tired/fearmongering, talking point, excuse or "I don't recall" can change this irrevicable factor for the GOP.

    August 2, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. Harve, San Diego (our roads already are garbage) CA

    Those dumb Europeans and Canadians: they tax motor fuels and grossly excess income to invest in their nations' infrastructures. We provide huge tax cuts for the wealthy and allow our infrastructure to crumble to pay for those tax cuts. So, our pigeons are finally coming home to roost from the Reagan Revulsion and subsequent NeoCon heck now I'm gonna need an SUV just to get around on our "Third World" a gas sucking 4WD setting. I smell a conspiracy......

    August 2, 2007 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  19. Mike, Coarsegold, cal.

    Dingy Harry should be impeached.

    August 3, 2007 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  20. Nancy, Kansas

    I spent a week in Stockholm this summer. They have a fantastic high speed train from the city to the sirport, and the airport serves both Stockholm and Uppsala. When I arrived at OHare I thought I was in Mexico.

    August 3, 2007 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  21. Lynne, Waukesha, WI

    Colin of Milwaukee must've fogotten the buckling of and the subsequent blasting of an entire section of the Hoan Bridge over the Milwaukee Harbor...luckily no one was injured or easily could've been just as much of a tragedy as the collapse of 35W in Minneapolis.

    August 3, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  22. Paul Grimm Maryland

    I have been saying for years that our infrastructure is in need of attention. Every city in the US is grossly jammed with traffic. Rush hours and now about 6 hours. And it is not only our highways. Our health systems is a dismal, the electrical systems are failing, remember the wide systemic outtages? Our education system has been failing as schools require overhauling. And the environment has been failing for 50 years and we all know it but now we are at a point where if we do not address the way we use oil energy our planet is going to let us know that we have gone too far.

    What must be done? We all must use very small cars. Smart highways can be built easily and inexpensively elevated above or along existing highways. We use the proper car for the proper purpose and get out of those 5,000 pound SUVs that take one person to work. The US must begin to think smart as we have been very stupid. Example: Why do we have only one gas or diesel engine? Electice motors are quiet, extremely simple and more powerful that those stinking gasoline and diesel engines. OIL!!! Pledge to buy a small car and make it electric if you can and get the government to build nice small roads for only them. This will take many people off those crowded highways and reduce pollution.

    August 3, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  23. John Ohlson, New Caney, Tx.

    Hey Harry I'm all for spending more money on infastructure but you like all your other friends in congress are a day late and a dollar short. Like all you congressmen and senators you guys are America's biggest problem next to our President. I've been a Republican for thirty years and I'm going to fight to get them out of office this election but I'm not really sure you dem's are any better we need another choice someone who's not a lawyer or political someone who is really for America.

    August 3, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  24. jnorthy

    All we need is another $1.6 trillion to fix our nations bridges, but good to know Sen. Reid.

    August 3, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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