The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

One and a Half Years After Killing a 6-Year Highway Construction Bill, Obama Calls for a Highway Construction Bill

Kucinich Says Congress Should Support New Call


Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement after President Obama called for a road construction bill so that "companies can put tens of thousands of people to work right now building our roads and bridges and airports and seaports." Kucinich said Congress should support the call.

"I agree that we desperately need to put Americans back to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. The current status of our highway system, which was once a crown jewel of our nation's transportation infrastructure, has fallen into disrepair. According to a recent report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, continued deterioration of America's surface transportation infrastructure will cost more than 870,000 jobs and increase transportation costs by more than $400 billion by 2020.

"It is noteworthy that while the President now accuses Congress of dragging its feet on a Transportation Appropriations bill, it was just one and a half years ago that the White House prevented Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), the then-Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, from bringing a comprehensive highway funding bill to the floor.

"Mr. Oberstar's bill had bipartisan support. It would have made a $500 billion dollar, six-year investment in the infrastructure and economy of America. It would have put Americans back to work. The White House blocked the bill.

"I am glad that President Obama now recognizes the desperate need for a road construction bill. The question which remains is how hard he will push to make it happen given that only a year and a half ago he opposed a bill that would have created millions of jobs in infrastructure repairs."

Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.