Washington DC—Democratic Senators Richard Durbin and Barbara Boxer joined Pete Ruane, President and CEO of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and Ray Chapman, a bricklayer from Michigan, today to discuss Democrats’ efforts to create jobs and improve our infrastructure. This week the Senate will debate the SAFETEA-LU highway technical corrections bill, which will allow the completion of important highway and transit projects outlined in the 2005 SAFETEA-LU transportation bill. Investing in infrastructure is one of the best ways to stimulate our weakening economy, as it immediately impacts job creation and benefits the economy in the long-term by lowering transportation costs.
“If we don’t make these corrections to the highway bill, hundreds of construction projects across the country will be stalled,” Durbin said. “At a time when our economy is in trouble, we should be investing in the infrastructure that will put people to work today and ensure our global competiveness in the future.”
Said Boxer: “This technical corrections legislation provides a green light that could unleash up to $1 billion into the economy and create tens of thousands of jobs. Given the current economic slowdown, we cannot afford to let funds already provided in the last highway bill remain unused—we need to move forward with this economic stimulus."
“This bill will allow almost 500 highway-improvement projects valued at more than $1 billion to move forward,” Ruane said. “It will improve the quality of communities across the nation and support 39,300 jobs.”
Said Chapman, President and Business Manager of Michigan’s Local Union 1 of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers: “The most obvious strategy for dealing with a recession and rising unemployment is to invest in the building and repairing of our nation’s roads, highways, bridges and infrastructure. That kind of smart spending puts money immediately in the pockets of hard-working people.”