In Milwaukee today the President announced a $50 billion infrastructure program to build roads, rail, and runways.
"Today, I am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America's roads, and rails and runways for the long term," said Obama, who spoke on Labor Day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin -- a state with competitive gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.
"We used to have the best infrastructure in the world. We can have it again," he said to loud cheers from a crowd of union workers.
The proposal envisions -- over a six year period -- rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rail and 150 miles of airport runways. It also would include modernizing the nation's air traffic control system in an effort to reduce delays and travel time
"This will not only create jobs immediately. It's also going to make our economy hum over the long haul," said the president.
Obama hopes to work with Congress to enact an up-front investment of $50 billion -- an amount a White House statement said would represent a significant chunk of new spending on infrastructure.
The investment would then be paired with what the administration called a framework to improve transportation spending.It'll be fun to watch the GOP block this, but I'm expecting the impact of that to be dulled if not destroyed by Democrats like Ben Nelson and Evan Bayh to turn against it, meaning there'll magically be "broad bipartisan opposition in Congress" to yet another of the President's programs.
Still, it's a necessary fight to have, especially since so many states are in the red that they can't do anything about extra building of roads and bridges right now.
Of course, since Republicans believe roads build themselves because government is incapable of ever doing anything useful, it'll be interesting to see what the excuse they use to kill this will be. If the pattern holds what will finally get approved is about $2 billion in pothole repair.