The House has passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
A key component of the plan is enacting the largest investment in America’s roads, bridges, transit lines and rail systems since the creation of the interstate highway system
The one-time addition of over $48 billion directed towards transportation currently under consideration by the Congress would be a welcome supplement, and we estimate the economic recovery funding will support the improvement of more than 2,000 bridges and the rehabilitation of more than 25,000 miles of highway nationwide.
Last Friday, the Department of Labor announced that as of this January, 11.6 million people are out of work in the United States and in the past 4 months alone, the economy has lost 2.2 million jobs. That’s like losing every job in Silicon Valley and the entire San Franciscoarea or all of Louisiana.
This money gives us an opportunity to create jobs in every state and repair the nation’s infrastructure at the same time.
And we, at the Department are ready. At my direction, we have already set a multi-modal economic recovery team to make sure that the economic recovery moneys for transportation are spent rapidly and wisely. We’re calling it our TIGER Team.
We work for the American people – and we have a chance to make a difference in their lives. They deserve to know that we will be responsible with their money.
So, we will have transparency – we will have accountability – and we’re going to do things by the book.
We have a big job ahead of us, and I know both federal and state governments are all up to the challenge.