May 17 - President Barack Obama called for making transportation funding a greater priority in the road towards job creation and that his Administration intends to cut red tape for major transportation projects. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama on Saturday (May 17) called for placing a greater priority on transportation funding and that his Administration intends to cut red tape for major transportation projects with or without the help of Republicans in Congress. Speaking to the American public during his weekly address, Obama said "first class infrastructure" creates "first class jobs" and that businesses stay away from "crumbling roads and bridges and backed-up supply chains". "They set up shop where the newest, fastest transportation and communications networks let them invent and sell goods Made in America to the rest of the world as fast as possible," Obama said. Obama had appeared at an aging New York bridge earlier in the week to chide Congress for failing thus far to approve transportation legislation for urgently needed road projects. With Congress facing a big fight on how to replenish a federal fund for road construction, Obama urged lawmakers to pass a transportation bill to pay for an estimated 112,000 highway projects and 5,600 transit projects under way this year. Without passage, work could grind to a halt, putting at risk almost 700,000 jobs in the peak summer construction season. Obama has singled out Republicans specifically for criticism for what he calls their efforts to pursue tax cuts instead of infrastructure spending. The President has called 2014 a "year of action" and has said that he will use his executive powers to introduce measures designed to strengthen the economy with or without the help of Republican in Congress.