November 2nd, 2011
03:04 PM ET
This morning President Obama visited yet another deficient bridge to continue his push for increased infrastructure spending. Choosing a location a little closer to home this time, the president spoke in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C., citing the bridge behind him as an example of why Congress must act on funding for roads and bridges, but reiterating that "if they won't act, I will."
“It's the Key Bridge; one of the five major bridges that connect the Commonwealth of Virginia to Washington DC,” the president said. “Two of these five bridges are rated structurally deficient, which is a fancy way of saying you can drive on them but they need repair. Nearly 120,000 vehicles cross these two bridges every single day carrying hundreds of thousands of commuters and families and children.”
As part of his new ‘we can’t wait’ campaign, President Obama also unveiled today that he was pushing a new initiative to get federal money to infrastructure projects faster, telling several hundred unemployed construction workers and representatives from the labor, business and infrastructure communities that “if there's money already in the pipeline, we want to get it out faster.”
Continuing his attacks on Congress, the president pointed to a vote this week on the infrastructure portion of his American Jobs Act, saying that this week “Congress has another chance.” He went on to cite two recent votes creating a commemorative coin for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and reaffirming “In God we trust” as the nation's motto as proof that Members of Congress had plenty of time to take up what proposals he argued will help create jobs.
“I can't imagine that Speaker Boehner wants to represent a state where nearly one in four bridges is classified as substandard,” the president said. “I'm sure that the Speaker of the House would want to have bridges and roads in his state that are up to par. When the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell visited that closed bridge in Kentucky that I was talking about, he admitted 'look – roads and bridges are not partisan in Washington' – that's a quote from him.
“Paul Ryan the Republican in charge of the budget process recently said 'that you can't deny that infrastructure does create jobs.’ Okay, so if the Speaker of the House, the Republican leader in the Senate, all the Democrats all say that this is important to do, why aren't we doing it? What's holding us back? Lets get moving and put America back to work.”