Last night, President Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress and the American people about his plan to create American jobs right now. Putting American workers on transportation construction sites is a crucial part of the President's vision. Now, it's up to Congress to set aside the politics and partisanship and pass the American Jobs Act.
Every proposal in the American Jobs Act is the kind that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans in the past. Every proposal in the Act will be paid for. And every proposal is designed to meet the urgent needs of our people and our communities. This Act will make a significant difference in job creation and economic growth as soon as Congress acts on this important legislation.
Two key elements of President Obama's proposal are immediate infrastructure investments and creation of a National Infrastructure Bank, an idea with strong bipartisan support. These programs will help us modernize our roads, rails, and airports while also putting hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors back on the job.
As I've said many times, there are no Republican bridges or Democratic roads. These are projects that both parties have always agreed upon. And this call has been joined by leaders from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue. Why? Because transportation is an economic engine in community after community, from coast to coast.
The President is also calling for Congress to pass a National Infrastructure Bank. This will allow us to leverage private and public capital to invest in a broad range of infrastructure projects that are need and that will help the economy grow. The Bank the President proposed is based on a model Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) have both championed.
The American people know that the economic crisis and the deep recession were not created overnight, and they don't expect them to be solved overnight. But the American Jobs Act, if passed by Congress, will put people back to work, including the teachers and first responders whose services we value so highly and the construction workers who have been particularly hard hit.
Everywhere I go, I see people working incredibly hard to meet their responsibilities, do their jobs, and help rebuild America. Now it's time for Washington to do the same. Now it's time to roll up our sleeves--in the White House, at DOT, and in Congress.
We've got work to do, and the American Jobs Act will help us get it done.
Watch an enhanced version of the President's address, complete with graphics