In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama charted a clear course for the next 12 months. "It is our generation’s task," the President said, "to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth -- a rising, thriving middle class."
And one way to reignite that important engine is by investing in American transportation.
As the President said, "Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire: a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail..."
And he noted that, "The CEO of Siemens America – a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina – has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs."
So, the President’s plan to build on the progress we've made during his first term and to make America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing includes a “Fix-It-First” program that puts men and women to work as soon as possible on our most urgent infrastructure repairs.
For the past four years we have been doing exactly that--helping to fund the work zones you see on highways across the country; upgrading America's ports, and bringing transit systems from coast to coast into a state of good repair.
But, as the President said last night, and as organizations from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the American Society for Civil Engineers know all too well, we have much more to do.
And--with the support of Congress--we can do it.
As President Obama observed last night, the last Congress passed some of the provisions in his American Jobs Act. But we need the new Congress to pass the rest of it.
American businesses have added more than 6 million jobs in the past 35 months, but we can do better. The President's plan offers steps we can take right now to create more jobs, and as he said last night, "The American people expect Congress to act and get the job done."
In a blog post marking Lincoln's birthday yesterday, I wrote that Lincoln, "understood that only together could our nation thrive. Only when we work together, setting aside our differences, can we solve our nation's problems."
President Obama laid out a plan for doing just that in his State of the Union address.
Now is the time to finish the work we began together four years ago. Now is the time, in Lincoln's words, "for us to be here dedicated to the great task before us."