How's the president going to get there on his transportation bill?

Posted by mmcmullan on 02/27/2014

President Obama talks the talk. He understands the benefits that a strong manufacturing sector brings to the American economy. That’s why he was announcing manufacturing hubs on Tuesday, and was in St. Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday to talk about his plan for a federal transportation bill. Check him out, touring a new car on Minneapolis-St. Paul’s light-rail line:

We’re glad he’s on board (pun definitely intended). Because, as the president said -- “they're trying to out-build us today so they can out-compete us tomorrow,"  -- the international competition isn’t waiting around to get serious about repairing our infrastructure.

But how are we going to get that done? This blog has made note of our crumbling infrastructure before, and at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) we think a national infrastructure bank would be a solid way to fund the fixes for the 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. 

Howeva. That’s gotta go through Congress, where (unfortunately) well-intentioned and sound public policy often goes to die. And President Obama’s transportation overhaul proposal faces the same hurdle – it needs Congressional approval and cooperation on tax reform. That could be tricky. There are, however, plenty of things the president could do unilaterally to promote American industry and the jobs that come with it. Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul wrote those options up in an opinion right here.

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