obama infrastructure

Obama to announce $50 billion infrastructure job plan

By Darren Goode and Bridget Johnson -The Hill

On Monday, President Obama called for an upfront investment of $50 billion to improve roads, railways and runways as part of a larger six-year strategy to update the nation’s aging infrastructure.

Obama – who is announcing the strategy in a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee – wants Congress to approve this first-year $50 billion “as soon as possible” and pay for it by scaling back oil and gas industry tax incentives, a senior administration official said.

The White House touted the plan as “a bold vision for renewing and expanding our transportation infrastructure – in a plan that combines a long-term vision for the future with new investments.”

The administration said over the next six years it plans to rebuild 150,000 miles of roads, construct and maintain 4,000 miles of rail and rehabilitate 150 miles of runways.

The administration, coming off a disappointing 9.6 percent unemployment rate announced by the Labor Department on Friday, said the transportation plan would “jumpstart job creation.”

One official stressed that “this is not a stimulus, immediate jobs plan” but rather a front-loaded six-year strategy. Administration officials did not have a specific job creation goal for the investment or an overall six-year dollar figure. The $50 billion would be “a significant portion” of the overall six-year investment, a senior administration official said.

The plan also would include the establishment of an “Infrastructure Bank to leverage federal dollars and focus on investments of national and regional significance that often fall through the cracks in the current siloed transportation programs.”

Obama’s infrastructure push also includes a focus on high-speed rail and “a long-overdue overhaul of Amtrak’s fleet,” as well as consolidation of more than 100 different transportation funding programs.

It also proposes a “robust investment” in modernizing the air traffic control system, claiming improvements would cut down on travel delays.

It is the first time that Obama has specifically begun to outline his strategy for a new six-year surface transportation plan, nearly a year after the last congressional strategy expired.

To read more, visit: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/117299-obama-to-push-50b-infrastructure-plan

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