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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-15-10 09:51 AM
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51. House plan to create 6 million jobs to rebuild transportation infrastructure rejected by White House
Just last summer .....

$500 billion plan to upgrade U.S. transportation hits federal pothole
Scott Smith is director of strategic initiatives for HNTB Corporation
July 13, 2009

Our roads, highways and bridges are crumbling under the strain of overuse and old age.

But a comprehensive solution may have encountered a bottleneck that will postpone for 18 months or longer a push to correct the sorry state of our surface transportation system. Delay is something we can no longer afford ....

We find ourselves in this predicament because we have not had a national transportation plan since the interstate highway system was launched in 1956.

U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, addressed these huge needs by introducing the Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009. Oberstar proposes spending $500 billion over the next six years to transform our antiquated system into the reliable, sophisticated network we need to safely and efficiently move people and goods.

The legislation would provide approximately:

$337 billion for highway construction, including at least $100 billion to begin long-awaited repairs to our national highway system and bridges.

$100 billion for mass transit, including $12 billion for repairs.

$50 billion to fund 11 high-speed rail corridors linking major metropolitan areas.

The total investment would create or sustain about 6 million family-wage jobs, many here in the Midwest as our region continues to grow in importance as a transportation hub.

Unfortunately, Oberstars bill has collided with a proposal put forth by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The secretary wants Congress to pass an 18-month highway authorization bill that would put off a comprehensive, long-term solution and instead perpetuate a piecemeal mix of half-measures and temporary remedies for our nations transportation woes.

This collision need not turn into a pileup if we make the right choice. Oberstars approach is the right way to go.

Please read the complete article at:


Will Oberstars Grand Highway Plan Stall?
By Colby Itkowitz, CQ Staff
June 27, 2009

Oberstar recently made public the outline of an authorization bill for the governments highway and transit programs that he hopes will be the capstone of his long legislative career: a six-year, $450 billion package he describes as rivaling President Dwight D. Eisenhowers creation of the Interstate Highway System more than a half-century ago.

The approximately 800-page draft measure that Oberstar has been refining for months envisions an ambitious overhaul, consolidating more than 100 individual federal programs into four broad categories, while pumping billions of dollars into new highway and high-speed rail projects. Most significant, it would require that federal money be spent to achieve specific goals and measures cutting congestion in a city by a particular amount, for example rather than distributing it only by formula among states or through congressional earmarks.

This moment, which is the apex of his political career, could not have come at a worse time for a chairman who puts such a high value on policy purity and such a relatively low value on political posturing. Its been clear for months that President Obama and Oberstars fellow Democrats who are higher up in the congressional power structure are in no hurry to tackle a multi-year highway and transit bill, because they would have to find a way to pay for it and the White House has said a flat no to the notion of raising the gasoline tax, even temporarily, as Oberstar has proposed.

In fact, no sooner had Oberstar arranged to release an outline of his proposal than Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood went to Capitol Hill to reveal the administrations own plan: an 18-month extension of current programs combined with a few of Obamas favorite ideas nothing like the full-blown overhaul of which Oberstar dreams.

They cut the legs out from under him, said the top Republican on Oberstars committee, John L. Mica of Florida.

Its not that Oberstar wasnt warned about how difficult it would be. At the very outset of this Congress, his partys leaders sharply limited his role in assembling the economic stimulus bill (PL 111-5), which Oberstar and others thought was tailor-made for financing transportation projects that could quickly put people to work. He had written his own proposal and held hearings, gathering testimony from economists and from state and local leaders who vowed that investments in transportation infrastructure were the greatest short-term stimulus. But as the measure grew, Oberstar was edged out, and transportation became just a sliver in the overall package.

Obama, congressional leaders and governors no doubt agree with Oberstar that the nations road and rail networks are in desperate need of repair and expansion. But persuading them to pay for it is another matter.

Please read the complete article at:

Sorry. These are old stories so the newspaper links are no longer available. But here's the link to the original post on Democratic Underground:
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  -Bob Herbert: "Obama's problem is that he did not make job creation the nation's highest priority" Better Believe It  Aug-14-10 11:05 PM   #0 
  - k and r nt  steve2470   Aug-14-10 11:06 PM   #1 
  - Obama's Problem Is He Didn't Make PEOPLE His Highest Priority  Demeter   Aug-15-10 02:29 AM   #25 
     - sure he did -- WEALTHY *people* got him jumping through hoops from the git go  Donnachaidh   Aug-15-10 09:32 AM   #46 
        - At That Level of $$$ They Aren't PEOPLE Any More  Demeter   Aug-15-10 01:41 PM   #66 
           - sure they are -- elitist people who write checks for campaigns  Donnachaidh   Aug-15-10 03:17 PM   #74 
  - K&R n/t  OhioChick   Aug-14-10 11:10 PM   #2 
  - Raise you a K/R  emilyg   Aug-15-10 12:15 AM   #16 
  - "If the Republicans had balked, and they would have,"  ProSense   Aug-14-10 11:12 PM   #3 
  - No, he could've made their opposition so politically unpopular,  Marr   Aug-14-10 11:20 PM   #5 
  - You mean like they did  ProSense   Aug-14-10 11:24 PM   #6 
     - If we can both agree that it wasn't enough, where is the argument?  Marr   Aug-14-10 11:40 PM   #9 
        - Really?  ProSense   Aug-14-10 11:50 PM   #12 
        - You'd be surprised what rose colored glasses really do. That and.......  pattmarty   Aug-15-10 09:25 AM   #45 
           - 100%  Knight Hawk   Aug-15-10 10:14 PM   #122 
              - For all his flaws, I miss Bill.  tblue   Aug-15-10 11:01 PM   #125 
  - If the Republicans had balked....  AlbertCat   Aug-15-10 02:39 PM   #69 
  - The perils of democracy.  hay rick   Aug-15-10 07:01 PM   #102 
     - Huh?  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 07:26 PM   #105 
     - Two obstacles.  hay rick   Aug-15-10 08:19 PM   #111 
     - Huh?  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 07:26 PM   #106 
  - He is blaming them now and we are still deep without jobs. We needed  fogonthelake   Aug-15-10 08:19 PM   #110 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-14-10 11:15 PM   #4 
  - nothing succeeds like failure that makes tons of $$ for corporations anyway nt  msongs   Aug-14-10 11:29 PM   #7 
  - $230 billloin was awarded for 'rebuild America,' road repair projects, modernizing the electric grid  Rosa Luxemburg   Aug-14-10 11:31 PM   #8 
  - While $12+ trillion is being gambled for bankers  MannyGoldstein   Aug-14-10 11:40 PM   #10 
  - have all the banks paid their debts back yet?  Rosa Luxemburg   Aug-15-10 12:09 AM   #15 
  - What debts?  girl gone mad   Aug-15-10 04:22 AM   #28 
  - Some "paid in back" in stock worth 0.66 for every dollar they took  Lorien   Aug-15-10 09:07 PM   #116 
  - Where is the "12+trillion" number coming from?  SunsetDreams   Aug-15-10 12:28 AM   #17 
  - Here, for example  MannyGoldstein   Aug-15-10 07:49 AM   #37 
  - What Exactly Was the Bank Bailout Bill?  SunsetDreams   Aug-15-10 12:43 AM   #20 
     - You've missed quite a bit.  girl gone mad   Aug-15-10 04:26 AM   #29 
        - "hush-hush programs and crunches the hidden numbers"  SunsetDreams   Aug-15-10 04:39 AM   #30 
        - The inspector General overseeing TARP, Neil Barofsky,  girl gone mad   Aug-15-10 08:21 PM   #112 
        - That really demonstrates how puny, as Noriel Roubini put it, the stimulus plan was.  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 06:46 PM   #100 
  - $230 billion..  sendero   Aug-15-10 05:47 AM   #33 
     - China put billions into its infrastructure and I don't think it has worked either  Rosa Luxemburg   Aug-15-10 12:33 PM   #58 
        - It actually seems to be working accordng to all recent reports I've read.  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 01:18 PM   #64 
        - then we should send a party out to see how it's done?  Rosa Luxemburg   Aug-15-10 01:53 PM   #67 
           - No need for that. Invest a few trillion in infrastructure, substantially increase mimimum wages,  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 06:30 PM   #94 
        - China's busy fixing the same problems we have  Patchuli   Aug-15-10 07:53 PM   #109 
        - China's  dotymed   Aug-16-10 07:15 AM   #129 
  - k to the r  Jim Sagle   Aug-14-10 11:49 PM   #11 
  - The waste is staggering yet even now we stay the Davey Jones locker  TheKentuckian   Aug-14-10 11:56 PM   #13 
  - Have you seen the infrastructure in India?... but their economy is "blazing"...  LooseWilly   Aug-15-10 02:26 AM   #24 
  - I do not agree with this article ...  and-justice-for-all   Aug-15-10 12:06 AM   #14 
  - Are you sure that it is the article that you don't agree with?  LooseWilly   Aug-15-10 02:58 AM   #26 
  - Excellent reiteration!  rusty fender   Aug-15-10 11:02 AM   #55 
  - Why thank you...  LooseWilly   Aug-15-10 05:00 PM   #86 
  - FAIL...nt  and-justice-for-all   Aug-16-10 11:30 AM   #134 
  - You're kidding, right?  pattmarty   Aug-15-10 09:33 AM   #48 
  - Nope, just circlejerkular logic on display there.  Mithreal   Aug-15-10 05:16 PM   #90 
  - Of course not. Jobs? From the President? Don't be silly. It's Woodchuck 101.  Mithreal   Aug-15-10 05:10 PM   #88 
  - Even if he does make it his highest priority  notesdev   Aug-15-10 12:33 AM   #18 
  - He only has Advisors of the Conservative Mindset---the private  OHdem10   Aug-15-10 12:37 AM   #19 
  - Too much of the money was given to the rich, with no meaningful strings.  snot   Aug-15-10 12:53 AM   #21 
  - Bingo!!!!!!!  pattmarty   Aug-15-10 09:34 AM   #49 
  - They only wanted to kick start the same corrupt, debt-based financial model that  Marr   Aug-15-10 11:28 AM   #56 
  - No, Obama's problem was the filibustering minority Repubs didn't make jobs Job #1 n/t  krispos42   Aug-15-10 01:58 AM   #22 
  - Oooh, filibuster! Scary! Must run and hide!  Lydia Leftcoast   Aug-15-10 09:32 AM   #47 
  - It's obvious...  sendero   Aug-15-10 06:45 PM   #99 
  - 2 parties  dotymed   Aug-16-10 07:30 AM   #130 
  - What filibuster? The fake pretend kind? Those can be easily overcome under Senate rules as ...  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 06:38 PM   #97 
     - Yeah, except that changing the rules would require Dems to go along...  krispos42   Aug-15-10 10:51 PM   #124 
  - It's still not his number one priority. I don't think he will ever get it.  dkf   Aug-15-10 02:17 AM   #23 
  - "the public was poised to respond to bold leadership"  XemaSab   Aug-15-10 03:11 AM   #27 
  - Exactly n/t  Steely_Dan   Aug-15-10 12:45 PM   #59 
  - The job problem is related  jeanpalmer   Aug-15-10 05:05 AM   #31 
  - Very true.. We need to stem the flow of Chinese Junk in this country...  lib2DaBone   Aug-15-10 06:37 PM   #96 
  - So obvious..  sendero   Aug-15-10 05:47 AM   #32 
  - How do yo spell Corporatist?  JJW   Aug-15-10 07:35 AM   #34 
  - +1  democracy1st   Aug-15-10 08:47 AM   #41 
  - recommend  TexasObserver   Aug-15-10 07:35 AM   #35 
  - agreed K & R!  Lost4words   Aug-15-10 07:48 AM   #36 
  - He didn't miss the opportunity, thats a total misconception  BootinUp   Aug-15-10 07:56 AM   #38 
  - Oh gosh. A voice of reason.  Diane R   Aug-15-10 03:19 PM   #76 
  - "The design of our government is such that it reacts too slow "  bvar22   Aug-15-10 05:10 PM   #87 
  - In these days of instant communication  dotymed   Aug-16-10 07:39 AM   #131 
  - So basically what you are saying  BootinUp   Aug-16-10 11:36 AM   #136 
  - So this form of government can't react effectively to crisis? We didn't see this kind of paralysis  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 06:42 PM   #98 
     - Maybe Obama should have stayed in the Senate  BootinUp   Aug-16-10 11:35 AM   #135 
  - It's never been about "the people", it's always been about  mother earth   Aug-15-10 08:23 AM   #39 
  - I would say its a democracy, just a poorly functioning one  BootinUp   Aug-15-10 08:44 AM   #40 
  - What we don't have  BootinUp   Aug-16-10 11:41 AM   #137 
  - K&R  highplainsdem   Aug-15-10 08:48 AM   #42 
  - It's still not a priority. His big thing now is deficit reduction with is  Raineyb   Aug-15-10 08:56 AM   #43 
  - Not true- he's provided MANY jobs in America  Prisoner_Number_Six   Aug-15-10 08:57 AM   #44 
  - He listened too much to the DC eggheads at certain Centers.  riskpeace   Aug-15-10 09:46 AM   #50 
  - House plan to create 6 million jobs to rebuild transportation infrastructure rejected by White House  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 09:51 AM   #51 
  - Only 101 billion of the 787 billion in stimulus money is for infrastructure!  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 10:00 AM   #52 
  - Deleted message  Name removed   Aug-15-10 10:29 AM   #53 
  - 11.5 million jobs  ProSense   Aug-15-10 10:31 AM   #54 
  - What bi-partisan Republican/Democratic Senate group cut from the original stimulus bill  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 11:32 AM   #57 
  - How odd that Herbert has a blind eye when it comes to the Senate.  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 03:41 PM   #79 
     - The Senate passed exactly what President Obama wanted. So what's your point?  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 06:33 PM   #95 
        - Wow. A simple google search shows that isn't true.  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 07:25 PM   #104 
           - Really? Well, if it isn't true how about posting the text of President Obama's stimulus proposal?  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 08:46 PM   #114 
              - How cute.  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 09:09 PM   #117 
                 - I want desperately, to believe that President Obama  dotymed   Aug-16-10 07:47 AM   #132 
                 - Well can you at least tell us what stimulus package President Obama proposed?  Better Believe It   Aug-16-10 12:04 PM   #138 
  - Once again, Mr. Herbert is on the money  Iwillnevergiveup   Aug-15-10 12:59 PM   #60 
  - WAR WAR WAR WAR is always the highest priority. nt  valerief   Aug-15-10 01:04 PM   #61 
  - +  Bluebear   Aug-15-10 03:18 PM   #75 
  - Of course it is  MissDeeds   Aug-15-10 04:30 PM   #85 
  - Two more years, then all will be better  impik   Aug-15-10 01:16 PM   #62 
  - What does that mean?  Quantess   Aug-15-10 07:40 PM   #108 
  - "nation's highest priority" is the first clue to just how stupid this is  gulliver   Aug-15-10 01:17 PM   #63 
  - "The public was not poised to respond to bold leadership" Is that why people voted for Obama?  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 01:25 PM   #65 
  - They have had bold leadership...  gulliver   Aug-15-10 02:13 PM   #68 
  - Yeah, really. Forget Wall St., the GOP, and the ConservaDems  brentspeak   Aug-15-10 02:47 PM   #72 
  - So Herbert, who has "miniscule influence", manages to also be one of Obama's "biggest obstacles"?  brentspeak   Aug-15-10 02:41 PM   #70 
  - "sideline conductors like Herbert"  gulliver   Aug-15-10 02:48 PM   #73 
  - The fact that he has no concept of the urgency to take action on climate change  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 03:39 PM   #78 
  - I had a former boss who said "there's no such thing as priorites"  lumberjack_jeff   Aug-15-10 03:58 PM   #82 
  - REC. nt.  bertman   Aug-15-10 02:44 PM   #71 
  - How can someone so ignorant of the stimulus bill have a NYT column?  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 03:36 PM   #77 
  - Dumping money to keep big business afloat does not create jobs  DatManFromNawlins   Aug-15-10 03:43 PM   #80 
  - Are you unaware  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 03:49 PM   #81 
     - The money that went to infrastructure like roads and high speed rail was peanuts!  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 07:02 PM   #103 
        - Yeah, fuck progress! And fuck any efforts to do anything good!  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 07:37 PM   #107 
           - Stop the personal attacks and accusing DU'ers of lying who you don't agree with.  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 09:04 PM   #115 
           - You post an article which accuses Obama of not focusing on jobs  Radical Activist   Aug-15-10 09:15 PM   #118 
              - So are you retracting your false claim that I lied?  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 10:19 PM   #123 
           - Please stop the ridiculous personal attacks. It's explicitly against the rules, you know.  inna   Aug-16-10 12:13 AM   #126 
  - So when did advocating a bigger and bolder jobs plan become a Republican talking point?  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 06:58 PM   #101 
  - I agree when Obama was talking jobs he found very few on the other side listening.  Johonny   Aug-15-10 09:43 PM   #121 
  - What's a shame is that some posters can't tell a RW talking point from an obviously valid criticism  inna   Aug-16-10 12:21 AM   #127 
  - Obama.......  BlueJac   Aug-15-10 04:19 PM   #83 
  - Isn't Goldmann positioned to cash in on Cap & Trade ?  stuart68   Aug-15-10 05:16 PM   #89 
  - K & R n/t  ihavenobias   Aug-15-10 04:26 PM   #84 
  - K&R  Little Star   Aug-15-10 05:25 PM   #91 
  - Even more important than the columns are the comments  Lydia Leftcoast   Aug-15-10 05:27 PM   #92 
  - This one gave me a lump  fogonthelake   Aug-15-10 08:31 PM   #113 
     - I find the comments to be as valuable as the columns, sometimes more so  Lydia Leftcoast   Aug-15-10 09:22 PM   #120 
  - Because we need less emphasis on the environment and on ending the wars?  Orsino   Aug-15-10 05:40 PM   #93 
  - Several thousand unemployed union members in Los Angeles demonstrated for jobs on Friday  Better Believe It   Aug-15-10 09:18 PM   #119 
  - About time. And you know what, more FTAs are not going to help either.  inna   Aug-16-10 12:24 AM   #128 
  - But one aspect of the problem..  blindpig   Aug-16-10 07:58 AM   #133 

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