This week President Obama called on Congress to approve a new round of road and bridge investment as part of a continuing effort to jump-start the nation's economy.
While details have still not been provided, the $50 billion investment plan would be of similar size and scope as the first stimulus program. For Michigan, about $850 million was provided to repair our roads and bridges.
The likelihood of passage appears low at this point, as Congress is back home campaigning in front of voters weary of heavy government spending in Washington. However, MITA is encouraged that infrastructure continues to be recognized as one of the best ways to stimulate economic development and create jobs.
While we welcome and appreciate President Obama's short-term infrastructure investment proposal, Congress and the President still need to address long-term transportation needs. SAFETEA-LU, the nation's transportation financing law, expired a year ago. Rather than engage in serious discussions about reauthorizing a new law, Congress and the President have passed four extensions already, with no end in sight.
MITA members have met with a majority of the Michigan Congressional delegation this summer and have been urging them to get busy with reauthorizing SAFETEA-LU and get serious about tackling the nation's crumbling infrastructure.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mike Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Keith Ledbetter at email@example.com, or call the MITA office at 517-347-8336.