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Obama Demands Highway Bill

During a bus trip around the Midwest, President Obama urged Michigan factory workers to “tell Congress to get past their differences and send me a road construction bill,” along with pending free trade deals and other measures to help spur the economy and create jobs.

He made the remarks at a plant in Holland, Mich., where workers are making high-technology batteries to power electric and hybrid vehicles, aided by state incentives and federal funds.

“There are things we can do right now that will help accelerate growth and job creation,” Obama said. He asked the workers to tell Congress “you’ve had enough of the theatrics . . . start passing some bills that we all know will help our economy right now.”

Those include legislation to fund transportation infrastructure projects, he said, “so that companies can put tens of thousands of people to work right now building our roads and bridges and airports and seaports.”

Obama has repeatedly urged the passage of an infrastructure bank to fund transport construction, which would be a new agency or account that lends to private investors and other project partners. “America used to have the best roads, best airports, best seaports,” Obama said. “We’re slipping behind because we’re not investing in it, because of politics and gridlock. Do you want to put people to work right now rebuilding America? You’ve got to send that message to Congress.”