President Obama Pushes Infrastructure Spending to Spur Job Growth

Image credit: Luis M. Alvarez/AP Photo

MIAMI - Standing in front of a giant cargo crane at the port of Miami Friday, President Obama promoted his plan to encourage private sector investment in infrastructure to increase job creation in the United States.

"There are few more important things we can do to create jobs right now and strengthen our economy over the long haul than rebuilding the infrastructure that powers our businesses and our economy - our roads, our bridges, our schools and our ports like this one," President Obama said.

"There's work to be done," Obama added. "There are workers who are ready to do it. Let's prove to the world there is no better place to do business than right here in the United States of America, and let's get started rebuilding America."

The president outlined his infrastructure spending plan, called the "Rebuild America Partnership," which consists of three components - the creation of a $10 billion national infrastructure bank, the establishment of new "America Fast Forward Bonds" for infrastructure investment, and the expansion of funding for the TIGER and TIFFIA infrastructure programs.

"Let's rebuild this country we love. Let's make sure we're staying on the cutting edge. Let's make sure we've always got the best ports. Let's make sure we've got the best airports. Let's make sure we've got the best rail lines. Let's make sure we've got the best roads. Let's make sure we've got the best schools," he said. "We're going to push on this issue each and every day and make sure we get the middle class going again."

As he pushed for creating more jobs through infrastructure investment in America, the president stood in front of a crane manufactured by a Chinese company called ZPMC.

Before he delivered his speech, the president toured a tunnel project at the port of Miami, which is undergoing a $2 billion renovation funded by government and private money.

"Breaking ground on more projects like this tunnel that I just saw means more good construction jobs that can't be outsourced," Obama said. "They have to be done right here in America and they end up getting people good pay and good opportunities to raise their family."

Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, said the program will total $21 billion but vowed that it would not increase the deficit. Details of the costs of the program will be outlined in the president's budget, which will be presented on April 10.

"They will not increase the deficit by a dime because they are paid for in our budget," Krueger told reporters aboard Air Force One Friday.