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Obama Calls for Investment in Transportation Infrastructure

In a nationally televised speech on Dec. 8, President Obama outlined proposals intended to promote job creation. In addition to incentives for small businesses to hire more workers and rebates for homeowners who invest in energy-saving weatherizing improvements, the President called for the allocation of funds to build roads and other construction projects.

He proposed to increase by an unspecified amount the spending in the stimulus law for rebuilding highways, railroads, airports and water projects. He also is seeking $50 billion to leverage public and private investments to finance infrastructure projects, reported The New York Times.

Obama said he would hash out the details of his proposals with Congress, which is working on parallel tracks on its own proposals. Final action will not occur until early next year.

According to The Times, most of Obama’s proposals expanded on the original stimulus package, which was intended to work over several years and was passed when 700,000 jobs a month were being lost. The economy lost 11,000 jobs last month.

Obama did not put a total price on the proposals, which would add to the $787 billion that Congress allocated last winter to revive the economy. But he said the cost could be offset by some of the $200 billion in lower-than-expected spending on the bailout of financial institutions, reported The Times.

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