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Statement of Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA, On President Obama’s Build America Initiative Announcement
Washington, D.C. (January 16, 2015) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today on the announcement of next steps for President Obama’s Build America initiative at the Anacostia River Tunnel Project:
LIUNA members working on the Anacostia River Tunnel project are proud to stand alongside Vice President Biden today as next steps are announced for the Build America Initiative. The setting for the announcement, the construction site of the 24,000 foot-long tunnel project designed to help reduce combined sewer overflows into the Anacostia River, is an example of public investment in infrastructure that has created family-supporting jobs for local workers that benefit the environment and water quality.
LIUNA welcomes the Administration’s efforts to increase investment in infrastructure including the use of private sector resources. From highways and roads, to water and energy infrastructure, our needs are great. However, public-private sector approaches must remain a supplement for public investment, not a substitute. The National Council of State Legislators estimates that only twenty percent of transportation projects can likely be completed via a public-private partnership. Furthermore, we cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that public-private partnerships are structured in a way that leads to high road job creation rather than a race-to-the-bottom.
LIUNA will continue to urge members of Congress to have the courage and conviction to address the need for long-term investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure through a long-term full investment Highway bill, support for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline as well as other energy infrastructure, and investment in clean and safe water.