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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/3/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Aging bridge used as a backdrop for Obama's speech.

President Obama has said that the deterioration of the nation's infrastructure is costly and threatens future economic growth.

Francis Scott Key Bridge was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1923.

Francis Scott Key Bridge was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1923.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/3/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, stimulus, jobs bill, Francis Scott Key Bridge

WASHINGTON DC (Catholic Online) - Delivering his remarks next to a landmark bridge in significant need of repair along the banks of the Potomac, President Obama is urging Congress to implement one of the planks of his jobs plan. Specifically, he is asking for Congress to approve $60 billion for infrastructure repairs.

According to Obama, deteriorating infrastructure costs businesses and families $130 billion per year. He said, "You're paying already for the substandard bridges. Fixing them would save money in the long run."

Many have said that infrastructure improvements are among the best ways to spend stimulus money. Handing the money to large firms, or doling it out in the form of entitlements provides a much smaller return that investment on infrastructure projects. Developing the national infrastructure is a safe bet for improving the economy. The plan both creates jobs, and makes commerce more efficient.

The bridge near which Obama spoke, is the Francis Scott Key Bridge a concrete structure spanning the Potomac that was completed in 1923. The bridge was originally built by the Army Corps of Engineers to connect Virginia to Washington's Georgetown neighborhood. Since then the oldest surviving bridge across the Potomac has become an icon of deteriorating infrastructure in the region.

According to the Federal Highway administration, repairing every bridge that needs it would actually cost some $140 billion. The Federal Highway administration published this figure in 2006. Republicans have so far refused to pass Obama's  $447 billion jobs package so Obama has shifted his strategy and is trying to pass it piecemeal.

Obama  continueds to criticize the Republican controlled House for stalling on his proposals and instead taking up other legislation that he does not believe will impact the country. Specifically, on Wednesday he criticized Congress for taking up the matter of "In God We Trust" as the national motto.

Obama said, "That's not putting people back to work. I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work."


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