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Politico - "LIUNA: Obama needs to lead on infrastructure"

Adam Snider

A key labor union says that President Barack Obama needs to take the lead on improving transportation infrastructure in his State of the Union speech tomorrow night.

“We need our President in the driver's seat of rebuilding America’s crumbling roads and bridges,” Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O'Sullivan said in a statement today, echoing calls from a number of other top transportation groups.

“Congress's duct-tape approach is destabilizing the construction industry, stalling projects, freezing jobs and slowing our economy. If Congress fails to act this year, the Highway Trust Fund will go off the fiscal cliff,” O’Sullivan said. DOT figures show the trust fund’s highway account could run dry before Oct. 1, when current transportation law expires.

O’Sullivan laid out a number of approaches to boosting infrastructure spending, including “adjusting user fees for inflation, along with new bipartisan proposals for infrastructure banks and loan guarantees to develop more public-private partnerships.”

The president is expected to talk about transportation infrastructure in his speech tomorrow at 9PM, but the extent of his remarks and his specific proposals — if there are any — remain to be seen.