President Obama Makes an Argument for Rebuilding America

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference (April 30, 2012)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., April 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Speaking to 3,000 attendees of the Building and Construction Trades Department conference in Washington, DC this morning, President Obama made an argument for investing in rebuilding America.

He told the crowd:

[As] a share of the economy, Europe invests more than twice what we do in infrastructure; China about four times as much. Are we going to sit back and let other countries build the newest airports and the fastest railroads and the most modern schools, at a time when we’ve got private construction companies all over the world -- or all over the country -- and millions of workers who are ready and willing to do that work right here in the United States of America?

The President used the conference as an opportunity to call on Congress to get construction workers back on the job:

As we speak, the House Republicans are refusing to pass a bipartisan bill that could guarantee work for millions of construction workers. Already passed the Senate. Ready to go, ready to put folks back to work. Used to be the most -- the easiest bill to pass in Washington used to be getting roads and bridges built, because it’s not like only Democrats are allowed to use these things. Everybody is permitted. Everybody needs them.

So this makes no sense. Congress needs to do the right thing. Pass this bill right away. It shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be that hard. Not everything should be subject to thinking about the next election instead of thinking about the next generation.

Read the full remarks here.

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