WASHINGTON, DC -- Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., made the following remarks on the Senate floor today:
The Rebuild America Jobs Act addresses two of our most fundamental responsibilities: first, the need to respond to the urgent jobs crisis, secondly the duty to create the physical framework for economic growth now and into the future. There should be no debate about our duty to fulfill those two responsibilities. And yet once again, we are in a situation where the refusal of our Republican colleagues to compromise, even on consideration of measures they have supported in the past, prevents us from acting on behalf of the American people. I am encouraged by reports that, perhaps, finally, the need to act has convinced some of our colleagues across the aisle to at least consider allowing the Senate to debate this legislation. I hope -- for the sake of millions of people in Michigan and in every other state who are waiting for us to act -- that at least some of or Republican colleagues will relent and allow us to at least debate this measure.
What would this bill accomplish? Simply put, it seeks to create jobs now and in the future. It does so by funding a wide array of infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, rail transport, mass transit, airport facilities and updated air traffic control systems. These projects would put construction workers on the job immediately. They would, according to estimates by Moody’s, boost economic growth by more than $1.50 for every dollar that we spend. And the benefits would continue into the future, as American companies and workers benefit from the increased competitiveness that modernized infrastructure provides.
Bill would create 12,000 Michigan jobs
In my home state of Michigan this legislation would dedicate more than $900 million to infrastructure projects. It would create about 12,000 jobs. Residents of my state are keenly aware of the need to act, and act now, on the jobs crisis. And they are keenly aware of the terrible costs that we pay if we allow our economic competitors to establish advantages over our workers. In my state, nearly a third of all bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. More than a third of our major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. About 40 percent of major urban roadways are congested. The people of Michigan want us to act now on jobs, and they want us to act now to maintain America’s competitive edge. ...
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