Transportation secretary ‘optimistic’ about infrastructure’s chances in Congress

{flowplayer size=580x326 img=/images/stories/videos/2011/11/02_LaHoodOptimistic/LaHoodOptimistic.jpg}mp4:images/stories/videos/2011/11/02_LaHoodOptimistic/LaHoodOptimistic{/flowplayer}

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday he's optimistic legislation funding infrastructure projects could pass the Senate. 

“I’m optimistic, I think that if senators — both Republicans and Democrats — really are listening to people in their states they know that people are hurting,” he said Wednesday on MSNBC. 

The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on legislation that includes $50 billion in infrastructure spending and $10 billion to seed an infrastructure bank. The provisions are a part of President Obama’s jobs package. 

Republicans have lined up against the measure because it would be paid for with a surtax on incomes over 1 million dollars. No Republican senator has supported any part of the American Jobs Act when it came in votes on the Senate floor. 

LaHood, a former GOP congressman from Illinois, echoed Obama’s statements from earlier Wednesday saying that Republicans know infrastructure investments create jobs.

“They also know that a $50 billion infrastructure program would put people to work very quickly, and they also know they have a lot of very bad roads and bridges in their, in their states," he said.