Obama: I Want to Put People to Work Rebuilding Roads and Bridges

Note: this story was orginally written on February 7 2011 for another blog and was cross-posted here months later and backdated.

President Obama spoke to U.S Chamber members today. He touched on a number of issues (read the entire talk), including exports (read the excerpt) and also addressed transportation specifically:

“We also have a responsibility as a nation to provide our people with — and our businesses — with the fastest, most reliable way to move goods and information. The costs to business from outdated and inadequate infrastructure is enormous. And that’s what we have right now — outdated, inadequate infrastructure.

And any of you that have been traveling to other countries, you know it, you see it, and it affects your bottom lines. That’s why I want to put more people to work rebuilding crumbling roads, rebuilding our bridges. That’s why I’ve proposed connecting 80 percent of the country with high-speed — to high-speed rail, and making it possible for companies to put high-speed Internet coverage in the reach of virtually all Americans.

You understand the importance of this. The fact is, the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO don’t agree on a whole lot. Tom Donohue and Richard Trumka are not Facebook friends. (Laughter.) Well, maybe — I don’t think you are anyway. (Laughter.) I didn’t check on this, but — but they agree on the need to build a 21st-century infrastructure. And I want to thank the Chamber for pushing Congress to make more infrastructure investments, and to do so in the most cost-effective way possible: with tax dollars that leverage private capital, and with projects that are determined not by politics, but by what’s best for our economy.”