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Pass This Bill! An E-mail From the President

This landed in my inbox:

Greg –

Today, President Obama stood on the Brent Spence Bridge that connects Ohio to Kentucky and spoke about how the American Jobs Act could help rebuild that bridge and thousands like it, and put construction workers and manufacturers back to work.

It has been exactly two weeks since President Obama proposed the American Jobs Act — a fully paid-for plan made up of ideas that both parties have endorsed in the past and ought to be able to get behind now. A wide majority of Americans who have heard about the Jobs Act want to see it passed right away.

But Congress has yet to take any action on it whatsoever.

There’s no excuse for any more delays. The President is out there bringing this plan straight to the American people. It’s on us to help put the pressure on Congress.

Call your Republican member of Congress now and tell them that taking action on jobs is too urgent for them to drag their heels any longer.

According to our records, you’re represented in the Senate by:

Marco Rubio: (202) 224-3041

Yeah, I’ll get right on the phone to Marco Rubio now about that. As for the bajillion jobs passing this bill is supposed to create, Andrew Stiles pointed out yesterday that if — yes, if — this bridge ends up qualifying for federal funds, construction can’t start, at the earliest, until 2015:

But in this case, even the president’s political grandstanding isn’t very well thought out.

The bridge in question is the Brent Spence Bridge, a 48-year-old structure spanning the Ohio River. It lies on a critical commercial route, carrying an average of 172,000 vehicles each day, more than double the number it was designed to carry.

In his address to Congress earlier this month, President Obama singled out the bridge as example of one that “needs repair.” White House press secretary Jay Carney echoed this line last week. “It’s pretty clear that this bridge could benefit from a little repair and renovation,” he told reporters. But local authorities are already on the case. They have been working for nearly a decade on a plan to replace the bridge with an entirely new structure, part of a broader initiative to alleviate vehicle congestion in the area.

Pfeiffer told the Enquirer that passing the president’s jobs bill would put unemployed construction workers to work right away on infrastructure projects across Ohio and Kentucky. The term “shovel-ready” comes to mind. However, there is nothing “shovel-ready” about the Brent Spence Bridge. Analysis on the project began only recently, and the Federal Highway Administration has yet to open the issue to public comment. Even if all the necessary funding were in place (which it’s not), the FHWA estimates, the earliest possible start date for construction on the project would be 2015, with a completion date in 2022.

This plan isn’t even blueprint ready, let alone shovel ready.


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