Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued the following statement upon House passage of the economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1):’
“A strong majority in the House of Representatives stood up for workers tonight.’ Just days after the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama, American workers are seeing why elections matter.
“The President pledged to work with the House and Senate to advance a bold economic recovery plan that stimulates a severely distressed economy, creates or saves up to 4 million jobs and invests in critical infrastructure.’ The House has now passed a strong bill tonight that reflects the President’s vision.
“This legislation sends a clear signal that the President and this Congress will do whatever it takes to reverse the disastrous economic decline we have seen across the economy.
“The transportation infrastructure investments in this bill are a down-payment on a multi-trillion dollar problem stemming from decades of neglect. ‘By investing in the country’s aging infrastructure, we not only put thousands of people to work but also address critical needs.
“Most importantly, this bill creates jobs ’ the types of good jobs that evade this economy. For every billion dollars invested in infrastructure, 47,000 jobs are created. And the needs are great. Today’s release of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2009 report says that the situation has gotten worse than it was before: it will take $2.2 trillion over five years to bring our infrastructure to ‘good’ condition.
“Transit ridership is at an all-time high, so this is no time to cut service and jobs or abandon capacity-building projects. Transit agencies across the country face shortfalls, so this likelihood is real. We thank Congressmen Nadler and DeFazio and Lipinski for their hard work to pass an amendment to increase the commitment to mass transit.
“We look forward to the Senate’s speedy deliberation over the bill. It’s time to finish the job and get this economic recovery legislation to the President’s desk for his signature.”