Obama: Jobs report shows transportation spending needed

"We connect the two by investing in rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our railways and our infrastructure and we could put back to work right now some of those constructions that lost their jobs when the housing market went bust," he said.

Obama's remarks come as lawmakers are considering a wide-ranging surface transportation bill, though the House and Senate versions of the measure are very far apart. The Democratically-controlled Senate has proposed a two-year, $109 billion measure that would average spending at about $54 a year on transportation. The Republican-led House released a draft of a six-year, $230 billion bill that would average about $35 billion a year, though Republican leaders say that amount could be leveraged through loans to double the funding.

Both versions of the bill are far smaller than the $556 billion that Obama has proposed spending on transportation over a six-year period.