Obama demands Congress spends cash for road, bridge repairs

SHARE Obama demands Congress spends cash for road, bridge repairs

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — With New York’s aging Tappan Zee Bridge looming behind him, President Barack Obama called on congressional Republicans to spend more money on the nation’s crumbling roads, see-through bridges and outdated ports or face losing businesses to other countries.

“We’ve got ports that aren’t ready for the next generation of cargo ships,” Obama said against a backdrop of cranes that are being used to replace the 58-year-old Tappan Zee. “We’ve got more than 100,000 bridges that are old enough to qualify for Medicare.”

Obama used the dilapidated span north of New York City and its $4 billion replacement project to illustrate a fast-track system he initiated that he said cut the permitting time from five years to 1 1/2 years.

He blamed Republicans for not authorizing more money for projects and warned that without congressional action the Highway Trust Fund, used to pay for transportation projects, will run dry. He accused Republicans of voting against additional spending even as they gladly show up at ribbon cutting ceremonies for projects they refused to finance.

“They are more interested in saying ‘no’ because they are worried that maybe they’d have to be at a bill signing with me,” Obama said.

Republicans contended Obama was hypocritical for claiming credit for the expedited process while his administration 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.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Latest
The worker, a 35-year-old woman, was stabbed in the neck and her wrists in the 3800 block of South Archer Avenue, police said. She was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Firefighters called to the Haley Mansion around 4 p.m. and found flames and heavy smoke coming from the attic and roof, according to fire officials. No injuries were reported but the extent of the damage was not known.
“You learn some of the nuances or quirks about a person’s personality when you’re traveling with them, for certain,” one expert says.
The first daily edition was a reminder to readers that, while they were reading a new paper, they could trust the reporting. That has never changed.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the father of a man shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse during a protest in 2020.