In an effort to press Congress to take action to rev up the country’s infrastructure sector, US President Barack Obama announced a new federal infrastructure initiative to help state and local governments seeking private loans to underwrite construction projects.
“We’re creating a one-stop shop for cities and states looking to partner with the private sector to fund infrastructure projects,” said Obama during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.
Obama said the 'one-stop shop' is his way of creating jobs and rebuilding America “on my own” because of the constant political bickering in Congress over infrastructure investment.
“Infrastructure shouldn’t be a partisan issue – both parties have historically understood how it pays off in the long term,” he said.
“If we work together and believe in one another, then we’re going to keep on rebuilding our middle class,” Obama said.
Obama’s comments come after Congress passed a $10.8 billion short-term fix to keep the Highway Trust Fund afloat through May next year, but many have said the country still needs a long-term transportation infrastructure measure to create jobs and keep the public safe.
“Even smaller transportation projects can take years to design, plan and build. A few months of funding doesn’t cut it,” said Obama.
“We've got to make sure growth is broadly shared,” not just in certain economic measures, Obama added, after giving examples of how the US economy has recovered since the financial crisis.
Corporate US has added nearly 10 million jobs over the past 52 months, and the manufacturing sector is adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.