Feb. 26 - President Barack Obama announces plan to fix the nation's crumbling roads and bridges. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday a $302 billion plan to fix the nation's crumbling roads and bridges. Obama's four-year plan ends some tax breaks and is projected by the White House to free up $150 billion for transportation but the proposal is not expected to gain traction in Congress. Obama made the announcement following a tour of a rapid transit operations and maintenance facility in St. Paul, Minnesota. "Other countries are not waiting to rebuild their infrastructure," Obama told a crowd at the light rail facility in St. Paul. "They're trying to out build us today so they can out compete us tomorrow." Obama was also expected to launch a competition for $600 million in grants for transportation projects through a program that leverages funds from the private sector and state and local governments. That spending has already been approved by Congress. Congress faces a September 30 deadline to renew federal funding for transportation programs, and the Highway Trust Fund that helps pay for road and bridge projects is teetering on insolvency, making it difficult for state governors to plan projects that typically run through September and into the fall months. That would only happen through corporate tax reform, a political long shot ahead of November midterm elections.