The GOP is bashing the President after his appearance yesterday at the TZ Bridge calling for $300+ billion in new infrastructure investments.
“We’re cutting bureaucratic red tape that stalls good projects from breaking ground,” Obama said, to cheers from the crowd.
The changes will help speed up mega-projects at Boston’s South Station, the Pensacola Bay Bridge, and light-rail construction north and south of Seattle, Obama said.
“All these steps we can do without Congress,” said Obama, who recently pledged to work with Congress when possible, but act on his own when necessary to sidestep the gridlock that’s hampered much of his agenda.
The changes also mean “good jobs” in the construction industry, which was hard hit when the housing market plummeted at the height of the economic crash.
He insisted that infrastructure expansion should be bipartisan, but took a few shots at Republicans - who have shown little enthusiasm for the plan - for pushing tax cuts on the wealthy instead of “rebuilding America.”
“They show up at ribbon-cuttings for projects that they refused to fund,” he said.
Republicans contended Obama was hypocritical for claiming credit for the expedited process while he has yet to decide the fate of a proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.
The GOP is using that up-in-the-air project to bash Democrats ahead of the November elections.
“It’s a real challenge to listen to the president talk about reforming the permitting system when he’s been sitting on the permit for the country’s largest shovel-ready infrastructure program, the Keystone XL pipeline, for five years,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The GOP regularly complain that Obama is sitting on Keystone pipeline approvals. What the GOP seems to completely ignore is that the Keystone project is a privately owned piece of infrastructure, the value of which is uncertain, is not likely to create the jobs claimed, and whose integrity is questionable given the company’s history.