Obama announces plan to build roads, railroads and runways

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Monday, September 6, 2010

File photo of US President Barack Obama
Image: realjameso16.

In a speech in Wisconsin, US President Barack Obama announced a USD50 billion plan to restore 150,000 miles of roads, lay 4,000 miles of railroad tracks and rebuild 150 miles of airport runways within six years. The speech was given at an annual Labor Day festival in Milwaukee to union workers on Monday afternoon.

"All of this will not only create jobs immediately, it's also going to make our economy hum over the long haul," Obama said during the speech. The president also said that "we are going to rebuild 150,000 miles of our roads — that's enough to circle the world six times... We're going to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of our railways — enough to stretch coast-to-coast" and that he was "going to keep fighting, every single day, every single hour, every single minute to turn this economy around".

Most of the new railways that Obama talked about will be high-speed rail lines, and the president also said that his administration would "restore 150 miles of runways and advance a next-generation air traffic control system to reduce travel time and delays for American travelers — something I think folks across the political spectrum could agree on." In the Obama Administration's plan, a new infrastructure bank will be created.

Obama stressed that the new bill will not add to the federal budget deficit, with Obama saying that "this is a plan that will be fully paid for. It will not add to the deficit over time — we're going to work with Congress to see to that." An Obama administration official also said that the plan will be funded by closing tax loopholes for oil and gas corporations.

Though Obama said that "these are projects and efforts that have bipartisan support that we know could possibly get support in the Congress and the Senate", Republicans expressed reservations about the new plan, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling it "a last-minute, cobbled-together stimulus bill".


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