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Obama Proposes Partnership To Rebuild Infrastructure

President Obama reaffirmed his support of “rebuilding the infrastructure that ­powers our businesses and our economy”—and laid out a three-pronged plan to help this ­happen in a speech March 29 in Miami.

Obama’s “Partnership to Rebuild America” brings together federal and private-sector resources to create jobs that will improve U.S. infrastructure. It has three components:

* An independent fund that will attract private investment to infrastructure projects based on their benefits to the economy. “And we’ll better finance projects that involve more than one mode of transportation, or more than one town or state, with less red tape to gum up the works,” he added;

* America Fast Forward bonds, a new infrastructure initiative that will give mayors and governors increased flexibility and power to attract private investment for public projects; and

* Improvements to an existing loan program that has already helped governors and mayors leverage four times the money Washington put into it.

“As president, my top priority is to make sure we are doing everything we can to reignite the true engine of our economic growth—and that is a rising, thriving middle class,” Obama stated in his remarks at PortMiami. “Breaking ground on more projects like this tunnel that I just saw means more good construction jobs that can’t be outsourced. They have to be done right here in America. And they end up giving people good pay and good opportunities to raise their families.”

He cited statistics showing that the U.S. has upgraded more than 6,000 miles of rail over the past four years. During that same period, “construction crews have built or improved more than 350,000 miles of road. That’s enough to circle the globe 14 times. . . . We’ve repaired or replaced more than 20,000 bridges.”

The president continued: “There’s work to be done; there are workers who are ready to do it. Let’s prove to the world there’s no better place to do business than right here in the United States of America, and let’s get started rebuilding America.”

President Obama delivers remarks on infrastructure March 29 at the PortMiami Tunnel project.

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