Obama called Thursday for Congress to approve a proposal for a federal infrastructure bank that has been pushed for by Sens. John KerryJohn KerryEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by The American Petroleum Institute — Illegal pot farms dry up Western creeks Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington Biden confirms 30 percent global methane reduction goal, urges 'highest possible ambitions' MORE (D-Mass.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas).
“We’ll set up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans based on two criteria: how badly a construction project is needed and how much good it would do for the economy,” Obama said.
“This idea came from a bill written by a Texas Republican and a Massachusetts Democrat. The idea for a big boost in construction is supported by America’s largest business organization and America’s largest labor organization. It’s the kind of proposal that’s been supported in the past by Democrats and Republicans alike. You should pass it right away.”
Rep. Nick RahallNick Joe RahallA billion plan to clean the nation's water is murky on facts On The Trail: The political losers of 2020 We shouldn't allow politics to impede disaster relief MORE (D-W.Va.), ranking member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, called for Republicans on the panel to be receptive to Obama’s proposals.
“The Nation’s roads and bridges and water systems are needs that even Americans of vastly different political leanings agree deserve greater Federal investment — not less,” Rahall said in a news release. “After all, the jobs created by such investment are not Republican jobs or Democratic jobs — they are American jobs.”
The infrastructure bank proposal was part of a $447 billion package Obama introduced Thursday — the American Jobs Act.
In his speech, Obama pledged to campaign across the country for Congress to approve his proposals.