In an effort to stimulate the economy, President Obama is looking for Congress’ approval to spend $50 billion to restore roads, railways and runways across the nation.
The President is hoping the infrastructure spending will gain the approval needed, even though many in Congress, and the voters, are concerned about an already skyrocketing federal deficit. With Election Day looming so closely, parties on both sides are hesitant to approve any spending that could cost them votes, and potential congressional control.
The jobs that would be created by the plan would begin to take place over the 2011 year. The $50 billion investment would only be the initial cost of a six year plan to improve transportation nationwide. An overall figure of the costs was not given, although it was said the $50 billion was a ‘significant percentage’. The purpose of this bill is a longer focus on job creation than the previously utilized stimulus package.
If the plan were to be passed, it would include the rebuilding of 150,000 roads, and constructing or maintaining 4,000 miles of railways. It would also include high speed rail projects, and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of 150 miles of airport runways.
The $814 billion stimulus Congress passed last year included infrastructure improvements, but was different than this package, according to officials. This package will aim towards long term growth and short term job creation.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says this could put many people back to work that have been unemployed for a long time.
The President has stated that he would like to close some of the tax breaks that oil and gas companies receive in order to fund the package.