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Washington, D.C. (Jan. 25, 2012) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address: At a time when 1.3 million construction workers are still jobless, we are particularly encouraged by the President’s ideas to create jobs in one of the economy’s hardest hit sectors.
As the men and women of LIUNA have long argued, investing in America’s crumbling transportation systems will put millions of men and women back to work. We applaud his proposal to invest half of our nation’s “peace dividend” in rebuilding America’s basic, critical infrastructure. Congress can start by passing a long-term Highway and Transit Bill by March 31 that makes a full investment in rebuilding America’s basics – the highways, bridges and transit systems that are falling apart across the country.
The President’s “all-of-the-above” strategy to increase development of American energy – including oil, hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas and investment in renewables – can create and support desperately needed jobs. Hydraulic fracturing alone will provided needed energy and jobs for an estimated 600,000 men and women. The President accurately noted that our nation does not have to choose between good jobs and protecting our environment and he reinforced that comprehensive climate change legislation is the best, if not only way, to tackle global warming.
The President’s proposal to make it possible for responsible homeowners to refinance their mortgages can ease the pain for millions of working people, help cure our still sick housing market and add fuel to a robust economic recovery.
In short, the President’s speech was a good one, but there must now be action. As the Build America union, the men and women of LIUNA urge Congress stop standing in the way and to act.