Obama Outlines Infrastructure Strategy
Reporting on an advanced summary of the plan, Schwartz outlines its three central elements: a $50 billion "fix it first" plan for investing in transportation infrastructure, creation of a National Infrastructure Bank to leverage private investment, and streamlining the process of permits and review for infrastructure projects.
"After hearing a general description of the proposal, Robert Puentes, director of the Metropolitan 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.'”
Writing in The Washington Times, Susan Crabtree notes that, "[t]he proposal repackages Mr. Obama’s plans from his 2011 'American Jobs Act' and the president is pitching it as yet another way to boost the economy by creating new projects for unemployed construction workers and making America a 'magnet' for jobs." However, she adds, "[w]ith so much budget pressure on Congress right now to find cuts, the $50 billion in new stimulus is unlikely to gain traction, especially in the GOP-controlled House."