U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Friday, Sept. 9, joined with Washington, D.C. officials and construction industry leaders at the construction site for D.C.’s 11th Street Bridge Project and called on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act to make investments in job-creating infrastructure projects. LaHood was joined at the event by Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, DDOT Director Terry Bellamy and Steven Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors, one of the nation’s largest trade associations for the construction industry.
“We’ve got unemployed construction workers, standing by, ready to roll up their sleeves right now,” LaHood said. “This is the moment for Congress to set aside the politics and partisanship, to pass the American Jobs Act, and to put America back to work.”
In his address on Thursday, Sept. 8, President Obama called on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, which will invest in job-creating transportation projects and establish a National Infrastructure Bank. “There are few more effective ways to create good jobs, deliver great roads, build a strong economy and protect taxpayers than to invest in infrastructure,” Sandherr says. “That is why the Associated General Contractors of America stands with the president and everyone else that is willing to make the investments needed to revive our industry and rebuild our economy.”
LaHood also called on Congress to immediately pass an extension of the surface transportation bill, which is set to expire on Sept. 30. If Congress allows the current surface transportation extension to expire, more than 4,000 federal employees will immediately go without pay, he said. If Congress delays actions 10 days beyond that, nearly $1 billion in highway funding that could be spent on construction projects across the nation would be lost, and almost 1 million workers could be in danger of losing their jobs over the next year, LaHood said.