Speaker Pelosi Calls Democratic Leaders Together to Discuss Economic Stimulus

October 10, 2008
With the economy continuing to decline, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that House Democratic leaders will convene an economic forum on Monday with some of America’s leading economists. A statement from the Speaker’s office said that the October 13 forum will help Congress develop an economic recovery plan that will create jobs by rebuilding our roads, bridges and highways, prevent cuts to vital government services such as health, education, and public safety, extend unemployment benefits, and help families cope with rising food costs. Although Congress is currently in adjournment, it did not adjourn “sine die,” which means it could be reconvened if necessary. Prior to adjournment, the House did pass a stimulus bill that included approximately $34 billion for infrastructure investment, including $12.8 billion for the federal-aid highway program; $3.6 billion for transit; $600 million for airport capital improvement projects; $7.5 billion for water infrastructure; $5 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; $3 billion for public school reconstruction; $500 million for Amtrak; and $1 billion for public housing construction. The Senate, however, failed to pass its version of economic stimulus legislation. AGC is providing information to the forum pointing out that $100 billion of new infrastructure projects have recently been delayed due to the constricted credit market. This is in addition to the already reduced number of infrastructure projects that have been going out to bid because of the impact of construction material cost inflation on the buying power of public works dollars and the diminished availability of tax revenue from the decline in real estate values. AGC is also pointing out that 52,000 highway construction jobs have been lost in the past 16 months and that a US Department of Transportation report demonstrates that a $1 billion investment in transportation infrastructure can induce 35,000 jobs. Over the past year, AGC has met with congressional leaders, sent strong messages to both the House and Senate, and signed on to letters from transportation related coalitions in support of infrastructure investment to stimulate the economy.
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