Remarks by the Vice President on Investing in Transportation Infrastructure for the 21st Century Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. Secretary, and both the Mayors, and to Secretary LaHood.
Folks, as you can see, all of you local reporters already know, as those planes go over, we’re across the street from the airport. This is — this project is about the future. One of the things that we intended to do with the economic Recovery Act was not only to save jobs and spur growth, but to lay down a platform for the 21st century across the board. This is an example of that. So I compliment the county and the city for being ahead of the curve in understanding the needs for the 21st century.
When the President signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he made it clear that we had to move fast, and the American people couldn’t wait for us to put these resources to work creating jobs and putting the economy back on track. Well, that’s what we’ve done.
Already we have announced that most Americans will be getting a increase in their pay beginning on April 1st, because less withholding tax will be taken out of their paychecks. That means more money will be going into people’s pockets. We’ve extended unemployment benefits, and we’ve made it clear and easier for people to keep their health care.
That’s going to help people a lot in these tough times. And just two days ago, Secretary LaHood and I were with the President when he announced $28 billion in highway funding had been allocated to the states — $28 billion in one fell swoop. That represents the biggest investment on our nation’s infrastructure since President Dwight D. Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System. That investment — that investment alone will create 150,000 new jobs by the end of this year — good, decent-paying jobs, jobs you can raise a family on.
Today, the Department of Transportation is announcing another $8.4 billion in the Recovery Act’s mass transit investment section — $8.4 billion. This project, the Miami Intermodal Center, is a result of some of that investment. It’s moving forward quickly, and we expect to help it continue to move. This project represents the kind of investment we’re making not only for today, but as Mayor Diaz said, for the future.
Why are these kinds of transit centers the wave of the future? Well, as is stated, because they bring together every means of transportation to one central location –- transit buses, subways, commuter rail, intercity rail, airport shuttles, regional bus lines, intercity bus services, and intermodal transportation for pedestrians. That makes it possible for more people to get out of