Obama announces new infrastructure plan to kickstart economy

08:10, September 07, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a speech at an event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, marking the Labor Day holiday in the United States, on September 6, 2010. (Xinhua/AFP photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday announced a new plan to renew and expand the nation's roads, railways and runways, in a bid to jump-start the sluggish economy and to help create jobs.

Obama announced the billion-dollar infrastructure spending program at an event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, marking the Labor Day holiday in the United States, with November's elections for control of Congress approaching and pressure from recession-weary voters mounting.

The proposal calls for investments over six years, including rebuilding and modernizing 150,000 miles (241,350 kilometers) of roads, 4,000 miles (6,430 kilometers) of railways and 150 miles ( 241 kilometers) of runways.

"It sets up an Infrastructure Bank to leverage federal dollars and focus on the smartest investment. All of this will not only create jobs now, but will make our economy run better over the long haul," Obama said.

This proposal is among an array of targeted initiatives that Obama will outline on Wednesday in an effort to buoy the U.S. economic recovery and long-term growth. The plan builds upon the infrastructure investments that the Obama administration has already made through in the Recovery Act.

"This is a plan that will be fully paid for and will not add to the deficit over time," said Obama.

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent in August, reflecting business reluctance to hire amid uncertain economic prospects. Private-sector payroll edged up by 67,000, well below the amount generated in July, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday.

The president admitted that new jobs "have not been coming fast enough" in the United States.

"These years would be some of the most difficult in our history. The problems facing working families are nothing new, but they are more serious than ever. And that makes our cause more urgent than ever," he added.

Source: Xinhua


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