Obama Promises to Speed up Construction Projects to Create U.S. Jobs
President Barack Obama pledged Wednesday to speed up construction projects to create U.S. jobs.
In a speech Wednesday, he spoke to an audience of construction workers, standing over the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, and criticized Republicans who have blocked the jobs bill he put forward in September.
CNN.com reported that the president issued new orders on Wednesday aimed at speeding up transportation projects he says will put construction workers back on the job. The White House announced that Obama was ordering the Transportation Department to be awarded $527 million in pending road and bridge repair grants by the end of the year and speed up applications for another $110 million in financing for projects in 2012. The White House and the Department of Transportation are setting up a team to speed reviews of other road and rail projects.
“If there’s money already in the pipeline, we want to get it out faster,” Obama said.
Republicans prevented the passing to the president’s $447 billion jobs proposal in mid-October, in addition to a $35 billion measure that would have prevented the layoffs of state and local government workers was blocked a few days later.
“How do we sit back and watch China and Europe build the best bridges and high-speed railroads and gleaming new airports, and we’re doing nothing at a time when we’ve got more than a million unemployed construction workers who could build them right here in America right now?” Obama asked.