In an effort to coax unemployment down from its horrifying highs, there is a new push from the Obama Administration and lawmakers to include billions of dollars for transportation and infrastructure funding in the pending U.S. jobs bill, Reuters reported.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood met with mayors Jan. 21 and touted an alternative to stand-alone legislation for highway and transit funding. He said he is urging the Senate to expand TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), a program included in 2009’s economic stimulus package.
The effort coincides with the push from Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and industry supporters to create a National Infrastructure Bank, which would direct public and private dollars toward infrastructure projects of national or regional significance.
The House jobs bill passed in December would include $48 billion for public works projects. The Senate's version is expected in a matter of weeks.