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President Barack Obama meets with bipartisan House and Senate Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss his upcoming fiscal policy speech, April 13, 2011. Seated with the President from left are: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Mitch McC
Obama decides he doesn't need these guys for the next jobs effort.
In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama announced a new plan to repair the nation's failing infrastructure and create construction jobs. On Wednesday, the White House unveiled the plan.

The first element is a "fix-it-first" policy, an investment of $50 billion to address the transportation infrastructure with $40 billion of that targeted to the most urgent projects, the "highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports most in need of repair." The second part of the plan is a "Rebuild America Partnership," with all levels of government partnering with business and private capital on infrastructure projects. The third part is a commitment from the federal government to modernize and streamline the agency permitting and regulatory processes for projects.

The outlines of the plan have been well received so far.

After hearing a general description of the proposal, Robert Puentes, director of theMetropolitan Infrastructure Initiative, said that while some of the announcement had been on the president’s agenda for some time, “the important shift seems to be the administration is not waiting for the legislature,” but is “maximizing the things they can do themselves.”

Mr. Puentes expressed enthusiasm for the infusion of more private capital into infrastructure investment. “This is not going to solve all our infrastructure problems — we still have a long way to go,” he said, adding that private money cannot meet all of the nation’s needs. However, he said, “this will go a long way.”

Importantly, these are initiatives that minimize the need for congressional approval, where there would likely be a less enthusiastic response, at least from one side. Past efforts at infrastructure jobs bills have regularly been killed by Republicans, whose commitment to real job creation is hollow, at best.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:44 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Labor, Dream Menders, and Daily Kos.

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