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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  February 8, 2011 6:00am-8:59am EST

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>> so i would hope that as we move forward you can use the science, applied it better, take a hard look at the weight epa does things, and streamlined so we can better protect public health. >> thank you so much all of you. will have a test case because epa is moving ahead and i hope our friends at the water agencies will work with us. you'll have a chance to publicly comment. i'll be looking forward to what you say on this issue of this. it's all across the country. it's all over the place. we already know the problems it causes with thyroid. so i hope you will work with us here look, you know, i think that straightforward, honest declarations your our in order. if we find that perchlorate is a danger and we are printed to the water districts and we have proved it, i think the water districts should support it and
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say we will be honest, we're going to need help in doing it. let's get to that point rather than try to use every delay tactic so that we just continue on with increasing cancer rates. i have a bill that will get epa more involved in coordinating cancer cluster actions. when we hear people in different states that said we don't know what's happening, but we have a higher -- we don't know why there's this hot spot of leukemia over here, and why there's a hotspot of other problems over here. and right now there isn't a way to respond, except with the local people doing something, the epa maybe being called, and what we are trying to do is get all this information under one room and try to answer these questions. a lot of the questions could lead back to water. we have a cancer hotspot -- it was a brain tumor, a hotspot of brain cancer in children in
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idaho. and senator crapo and i crossed party lines and have gotten together to move all of this cancer cluster bill, and it may lead to the water because as it turns out, we found out the one thing we know, there was mining and a lot of those toxins went into a lake, and the kids swam in that light. i don't know if it was in the drinking water. we don't know all that, but the point is it's now responsibly to protect the health safety of our people. all of us. it is our jobs, with your nonprofit, whether you're a profit, you know. we need to all be mindful of that. we can't harm the people. and my role as chairman here is just to point out that we are not moving quickly enough on some of these contaminants that have been around a long time. there's a lot of information. states like massachusetts, new jersey, california, are moving forward. it's really our job.
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why should a person in california be safer and chrome six than he is than any other state? it's not right. this is one country under god. we have to protect all of our people. so i'm going to look forward to working with all of you because you're all pieces of this puzzle. i think in the spirit of cooperation, that i hope we will continue to have, that we'll be able to get behind some of these obvious problems and solve them. because that's our job. and i want to thank each and everyone of you for being here and for your very honest, straightforward testimony. we stand adjourned, and thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] in a few moments house democrats
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look at ways to work with the private sector to create jobs. >> now a house democratic
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steering committee hearing on plans to create jobs and work with the private sector to improve the country's infrastructure. witnesses include maryland governor martin o'malley, and philadelphia mayor michael nutter. this is two and a half hours. >> good morning, everyone. thank you for joining us for this very important hearing on the subject of jobs. i want to thank the chairs, the co-chairs of the steering and policy committee. for bringing us together under the auspices of the steering and policy committee. i'm pleased that we are joined by members of the leadership, have your becerra from california. i want to welcome governor o'malley and all of our witnesses here today for this important subject. in the interest of time because the governor is only with us for a limited period of time i'm going to save some of my remarks were later, including thanks to
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our other witnesses. this is about rebuilding america and rebuilding america now is about jobs. it always has been. it's been about making it in america. we are under a fellow melander, martin o'malley, make it in america is one of our headlines. and when you make it in america you create jobs in america. it's about public-private partnerships, rebuilding america has to be about that. it's about private sector initiatives, and it should be no higher priority for us in congress than to create jobs. and create jobs now. we will measure every effort at every initiative that comes before us that creates jobs or strengthens the middle class and whether it reduces the deficit. just one week ago president
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obama came before congress with a state of union address and said a key step to winning the future is rebuilding america, to attract new businesses to our shores we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people and information from high-speed rail to high-speed internet. rebuilding america as an economic issue. it's about commerce your strengthening our competitors and creating the next generation of good paying jobs, rebuilding america is an environmental issue creating clean energy, solutions that create cleaner air and water, and cut greenhouse gases, rebuilding america is a national security issue reducing our dependence on foreign oil. as we move forward to rebuild america we must do so in the most fiscally sound and responsible way, leveraging federal dollars, partnering it with every level of government and with new public-private partnerships. private sector is essential under leadership is highly
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recognized and strengthening our efforts. it is such as build america bonds will accelerate construction of important projects that help build and move goods throughout the economy. as we continue to work to strengthen our nation's economy we will maintain a major focus on the deficit and we will not -- and we will cut waste, fraud, and abuse assuring that these investments go to the projects with the highest and best use. i begin according president obama in his state of union, not like in that way as well. last week he said we know what it takes to compete with the jobs and industry of our times. we need to out innovate, out educate and out build the rest of the world. we come together today in that spirit leaving -- leading the way and putting america back to work now. i now yield to chairman miller.
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>> thank you very much, madam leader. for calling this hearing and as you point out the president made very clear that job creation is the first, should be the first priority of this congress and is his first priority. and the democrats have been pushing hard to make it in america, innovation and so much of economic activity that can be done here in this country to provide the jobs that are necessary. i'm disturbed this new conversation little urgency to address the jobs situation, and that must change. our witnesses today will show us exactly what can be done to yield economic benefits for our communities, our families, for the workers in those families, if our competitiveness around the world. because of the need for time, i will associate myself with your marks for the rest of my remar remarks. >> thank you, mr. miller.
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chairwoman delauro. >> thank you very much, madam leader, and i want to thank you for calling us together today and be here with mr. miller and the rest of our colleagues and our witnesses today. take a look at the recent data it's clear that recovery is taking hold at the higher echelons of our economy. you've got increase business, consumer spending, revenue from the s&p 500 is on track, according to "the wall street journal" fourth quarter profits for the biggest u.s. corporations are poised to deliver the third best for your games since 1988. given where we were two short years ago this is good news, but it is not brought increased hiring, salaries or benefits. we are suffering from an unemployment rate of 94%, millions of american families have seen no indication of recover yet. they struggle just to stay afloat. they are weighed down by debt. and until they have jobs and
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economic security they deserved, our work is not done. creating, retaining what the middle-class jobs in america must be our primary focus now. a key component of that job creation should be showing up the foundation of long-term prosperity. that means investing in rebuilding our nation, roads, bridges, airports, ports, water systems, telecommunications and broadband, energy, schools. infrastructure is essential to our economy. we know that investing in public infrastructure great good middle-class jobs come it creates new opportunities for growth and revitalize our economy. it's been that way and always. from the days of canals and railroads to highway system and the internet, the foundation of our prosperity has always been our investment in infrastructure. we need them now more than ever. the u.s. chamber of commerce has said and ago that can be no more businesses as usual. long-term investment in
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transportation infrastructure is having an increasingly negative effect on the ability of the united states and its industry to compete in the global economy. it's one of the reasons why and i hope to have an opportunity when we move further into the hearing today, part of us several of us introduce the national interest structure bank. capitalize public funds, leveraging private dollars from institutional investors such as pension funds, all in the goal of the public investment to finance transportation, telecommunications projects of regional and national significance. just one more point about that in terms of the job creation. as it turns out some of the american industries most affected by the economic downturn are the ones that would benefit most from infrastructure investment. the unemployment rate in in the construction sector right now is 17% and yet three out of every
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five jobs generated by infrastructure investment are in this field. we need good projects, good workers. we need the political will to make the investments are reality. and those of us here today starting with our leaders are committed to creating jobs come and protecting the middle class and just in fact trying to do something about deficit reduction. thank you. >> ninety madam chair. mr. becerra, vice chair of our house democratic caucus. >> thank you, madam leader, and most importantly to governor o'malley at a witnesses we say thank you very much for attending this important hearing. and i would only mention what i think eight out of every 10 american mentions on a daily basis is the number one priority in this country and this congress should be job creation. we should continue to work on the success that we had over the last two years of creating jobs. more jobs created last year in one year than were created during the entire eight years of the bush administration.
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still not enough because during the bush recession we lost over 8 million jobs. so america public is right to be focus on job creation. we are looking forward to working with the president on his for postal that he set forth in a state of union address to start to move forward on roads, bridges, schools, we developing blighted areas, cleaning up contaminated sites. all those things. we're looking forward to hearing the testimony, madam leader, and i go back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to yield to mr. ruppersberger, give him the honor of introducing our special witness today. and i know in the course of the morning, the afternoon, congresswoman edwards will make
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her, sing the praises of her governor as well. but i want to say how proud we all are of you, governor o'malley, when you were mayor tom you are at the forefront of this issue. you took a priority to the governor's office in your first term, and now chair the democratic governors association. i know it's important priority. thank you for your leadership, and now i'm pleased to yield to mr. ruppersberger for the privilege of introducing our special guest. >> i want to thank you for having this thing. we know the jobs if our highest priorities, the witnesses we have here today are going to help us move forward to make sure that we do what we can do for america, to create jobs. and i also want to acknowledge the co-chair dolor and also co-chair miller. thank you for putting this together. it is my honor to introduce congresswoman edwards and my governor, we appreciate you being here governor about. no, not asserting his second
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term in the state of maryland, and he's a democratic governor that one by more than 14 points in a tough race against a former governor. we are glad that you won that race, governor o'malley. ibook with governor ,-comabout what i've been account executive. he was the mayor of baltimore city. he has worked in so may different areas of local government now state government and he's been a real asset to us in the federal level. we work in the date amount of we caught team milran. governor o'malley is the chairman of the democratic governors association at this point. he has had record investment in public education, and that has paid off a state of middle. maryland was rated number one in public education. he understands the need for education, especially higher education. in a very difficult economy for four years he froze tuition for all maryland colleges, including university of maryland where i went to school with maryland plaintiff tonight if that's of
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interest to anybody, and basketball. [inaudible] >> we will see. he also has will focus on jobs. and has been doing this since the time he has been governor. he has worked on public-private partnerships for the port of baltimore as an example. we have a lot of jobs coming to maryland as result of basic brackets go base closures and we have a lot of growth. we afford meat, nsa and aberdeen in the state of maryland. there's a lot of high-paying jobs and that relates to infrastructure because when jobs come you have to provide the resources. governor o'malley has been working on that very diligently and he is doing a tremendous job. it's my honor to introduce the governor of the state of maryland, martin o'malley. and i think he is irish. [inaudible] >> there we go. thank you very much, madam leader, and to our vice chairs,
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all of you really, thank you very much, congresswoman edwards, good to see. cloudy electricity is still on in your home. it is a great honor. thank you for inviting me to be here today in front of the house democratic steering and policy committee. and let me begin by saying thank you to all of you for the tough votes that you have already cast for the recovery and reinvestment act, without which there would not be a single state capital standing today in the united states of america. your votes, your courage, our presidents leadership kept our state from sliding in to the second great depression. and many of those investments that you made, whether was in education on new energy or the weatherization, the very things that answered that call that the president articulated so clearly just last week to out innovate, out educate and rebuild our country. so as democrats we recognize that our country is in the
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fight, and it's a fight for our economic future. it's a fight which every state has an important role to play in creating jobs through innovation and what is a much more hotly competitive global economy. and in this competition they are going to be winners and there are going to be losers. the nation's that when, the states that when will be those nations and the states that demonstrate the ability to balance something more than just their budget. yes, we must be fiscally responsible, but we also must make investments in a long-term strategic vision of the sort of future we want to create for our kids. if they're going to have better opportunities and better jobs in this changing economy. in short, had to be out bill, not educate and out innovate the rest of the world, to quote another present we must think anew and act anew. be fiscally responsible but courageous enough to protect and make the right investments.
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after eight long years of some of the most fiscally irresponsible behavior of any presidential administration in history of our country in george bush, and the level of our government finds itself struggling to maintain and restore fiscal responsibility. balancing budgets, cutting spending, reducing the size of government, all of these things are critically important in these challenging times. up what differentiates many of the actions that you see being taken by democratic governors across our country is that we believe all of those things, the downsizing, the cuts in all those things are important means to an end. and that and is making this new economy ours. so that our children will enjoy better opportunities than the opportunities our parents and grandparents gave us. in short, your theme is exactly the themes that the people of our country want to work towards, that they want to
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sacrifice towards. and that is to make it in america. we all want our children and grandchildren to be able to make it in america. we have the courage and foresight to make strategic investments, as you have made, to improve our children's education, to strengthen our nation's workforce and our nation's infrastructure, and to harness and spur that innovation economy that's really going to be the source of so many new jobs in our country. in maryland even as we have got 5.6 billion in spending, we have chosen to make the biggest investments in public education than we have ever made. the last two years we would've not been able to make those investments without your courageous vote. were the only state to go for years in row without a increase in college tuition. why? because we want our children to be winners in this new economy. we had been reinvigorated education by upping the stem often, science, technology, engineering and math. we been able to achieve a 65% increase the many stuff years in
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the number of our kids taking and passing ap level stem exams in our high schools. we've also made some choices to advance some of our leading sectors like life sciences, cybersecurity, green tech aerospace, global trade and manufacturing. we close the largest three pdo in america towards the end of 2009. that's great and 5700 jobs at the port of baltimore by modernizing it with private dollars so that the larger ships when asked to the panama canal won't pass by the port of baltimore. why did we make that decision? because we want our kids to be winners in this new economy. with your vote for the recovery and reinvestment act would able to put together state dollars in county dollars to attract gm to locate a plant to build the next generation of electric drive motor in maryland, and whitemarsh. why did we do that? it wasn't because with extra cash sitting around to it was because we want our children to be winners in this changing new
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economy. we've expanded in these tough times. tax credits for biotech, extended credits for research and development, state credits. created a new hiring credit to go on top of the federal new hiring credit that's working to put people back to work sooner than businesses in maryland might otherwise have fired. through small business loan guarantee funds with a $4 billion in two small and family-owned businesses. now we are able to partner with dollars that you helped us to access to expand and make it even more impactful. as you we are proposing and invest in maryland proposal that allows large insurance companies to forward pay their tax liabilities so we can infuse $100 billion into the maryland venture funds to further seed and prime the pumps of innovation with a small businesses and technology, the biotech startups in our state that continue to create jobs, even in this downturn. and to refurbish and in some
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cases revive our infrastructure, we've used resources from recovery and reinvestment act to rebuild and repair our roads, bridges, our other infrastructure. we've invested more than a million in school construction over the tigers which is an all time high for us as a state. we have chosen to move forward on to new light rail projects, the red light of baltimore, the other the purple line in the washington area. and also we have doubled our capital investment in the critical connection between washington and baltimore. today in maryland is coming through this recession better than many other states. we are one of a state that defends the aaa bond rating. we are 26,000 jobs in our businesses created last year was the best year of new job creation that we've been able to achieve since this recession hit us. foreclosures dramatically down this year in maryland compared to last year. u.s. chamber of commerce has named our state one of the top
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two states for innovation and entrepreneurship. the institute ranks as one of the top two states for science and technology. the coffin new economy index ranked as one of the top three states. none of those things happen by accident. none of them happen by chance. they all happened because of choice, including the tough but right choices that each of you has made so that we can come through this recession, come out of this stronger, harness innovation, to that which america does best, which is to make a new future, to make in america so our kids can enjoy a better quality of life that our grandparents enjoy. there is a tremendous change happening in our economy, and our country is either going to be crazy going to catch that wave or be crushed by it. and your courageous decisions, madam chair, madam leader, your leadership towards this innovation economy are the very things that are going to make a difference in whether or not we succeed in this generation. thanks very much.
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[inaudible] >> if i may, recognizing governor, introducing taken his one of our freshmen of congress, he represents louisiana and the congress of new orleans. i'm from baltimore originally. i represent another port city, san francisco. he's going to speak to us relationship between trade and dredging our ports. he brings a very special fresh perspective as a new member of congress. >> thank you leader pelosi and chairwoman delora and mr. miller for having me. governor, i share the same sentiment with you in thanking my colleagues for the reinvested and recovery act it would not have been able to bowser but in
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a state of louisiana the last two years which i was there any part of the budgeting process, but for the reinvestment act. and it allowed us to stay competitive no matter what our governor says. governor, my question to you is in terms of your investment in infrastructure of the report, as you prepare for expanding of the panama canal, have you all quantified the return on investment in terms of actual investment in the bricks and mortar as report and the jobs that are derived from that investment in the port? he told me have a public-private partnership to do yours, correct? >> correct. we include a public-private partnership with towards america, and so it's private dollars that are making this investment. it's approximately 2800 jobs that will be created on an ongoing basis because of expansion of the port, and it's
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about it's about 20 -- 57 -- approximately 3000 jobs in the course of just that construction. >> are you all facing any dredging issues with the corps of engineers in terms of keeping a certain draft for the cargo ships coming in and out of your port? >> sure. the dredging is a constant, preventive maintenance if you would. it's part of the price of having a port that is connected to the global economy. but we see that as a quickly important part of our entire economy. so we been doing good things, thanks to a delegation that understands the connection between dredging dollars and the operation and the jobs of that port. but it's a constant chore. >> overall, what type of support are you getting from your citizens in terms of your investment in the port and bridges and roads and all of those infrastructure type projects?
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to the understand the importance of that investment in terms of the future and being ready and the today of creating jobs now? >> i think that it is a very, i think is a very keen understanding of the connection of the port and infrastructure and the role that that place in our economy. strangely, i think what you'll find is a tremendous amount of unanimity. everybody understands these things are important and nobody wants to pay for them. and that's our challenge. is the challenge of political will. it's a challenge of our being able to make that connection between the investments we make today and the jobs that we are able to hold onto tomorrow and jobs were able to greg for our kids. but certainly the understanding is there us how important it is, but i think we need, i think there's a lot of work that needs to be done to create more will to make the investment.
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there's a commits amount of cynicism out there. the club almost given up hope that we're able to continue to do big things as a country. it's one of -- watauga also to budget deficits. there's a confidence deficit after and it's if we do this will there be this result. i'm not sure how we bridge that comics are doing these things we're doing today. >> governor, thank you for your time and your leadership. i yield back. >> think that if i may, mr. chairman, i just want to thank cedric for his leadership in the freshman class on this issue. following the state of union address the president talked about trade and how porta was for us to succeed in the global economy and he talked about succeeding in america. if we don't dredge, with short address we have less cargo, less cargo we make less money, and this dredging is a facilitator of trade and commerce and the direct relationship between the
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rebuilding america issues and profiting more from trade. of course, he represents new orleans which the entire midwest and the mississippi river, all of the products covered agriculture community, dredging in new orleans is important to the economy of our entire country. and again, makes trade more profitable for us. so thank you, senator, for your leadership on the. i know you understand that, governor, as a former mayor of baltimore. >> thank you very much. thank you, madam leader, and to our coaches. i especially appreciate being here today with our governor. i think for a small state we are in my state and it is largely due to your leadership in guiding us really to what's been a very difficult economic time. you know, i want to ask you about the choices that you've had to make because maryland has had to make choices that a lot
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of other states have had to as will and some of them have been very difficult. making the argument between where we cannot spending and try to bounce our budget that you have to balance the budget every year. but where we need to make investment. and so i wonder if you can talk about those challenges in getting people to understand the importance of investing in roads and bridges and highways and infrastructure you can't see, water and sewer infrastructure, the infrastructure that's really so important for economic development. and if you would, focus on what that means, the lack of that investment means to schools, hospitals and other things in the state that really affect our ability to attract new business. because you have been very good at being able to attract new business. but i think it is because of those infrastructure investments. so i wonder if you discuss the relationship? >> sure.
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in this years budget we will have to cut another $1.4 billion out of what is in essence roughly $14 billion operating base. 87 cents of every state tax dollar spent, invested, 87 cents goes to public education, public health or public safety. the remaining 13 cents is everything else. the department of agriculture, court, the department of environment, many, many other worthy things. there is always a tension whether you're a municipal government, county government, state, national, there's always a tension between your operational needs and your longer-term investments. and sometimes when it comes to education, they are one and the same. there is no way that we have been able, even with the aaa
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bond rating and even though we are seeing signs that our economy is coming back, and revenues come in higher than projected, first time since i have been governor, there's a way for us to take 1.4 billion in cuts without somehow affecting that 87 cents. what we have tried every best to do, if you look over the snapshot of time that is not an annual snapshot, but over those five years, is that we know we have to protect and investing those innovation assets, our brainpower, and also those key industries that are merging, like science, biotech, higher education which goes hand in glove with new job creation for this new economy. and infrastructure. we are really hurting in terms of rhodes scholars but that hasn't kept us from finding the dollars to move forward so far with our piece of the red line
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and the purple line. there's a lot more that we could do, and what we have done a very best to do though is our role is one state, our role is one state is to come out of this recession as quickly as we can or can we believe we do that by protecting those their assets that allow us to harness the innovative capacity of our businesses and our people. there are some that say we can't afford the biotech tax credit during this time when we're doing all of these are the cuts. we argued we can't afford not to. that's our competitive strength that we can't afford to do the red line and the purple line. if we don't and we come out of this, we're not going to be ready. we're going to be left behind. i think the people of our state understand there's a tremendous change happening. and they understand that when there's a tremendous economic change, there's winners and losers. and to the extent that we've been successful in forging fake
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consensus necessary, not want to make deep cuts but also due the unpopular thing like the penny increase in sales tax, it was because the people of our state came to understand this is all part of the larger effort to make the right choices and the tough choices necessary so our kids can be winners in this new economy. nobody wants to sacrifice for paying. pain is not a motivator. people will sacrifice for their kids. they will work harder for the children and their grandchildren. >> thank you, governor, and thank you for your leadership. i yield back. [inaudible] thank you very much, governor, for your testimony. i wish that you were coming to the capital where the majority was represented as was democratic side. the congress has been in session for about a month, and there's not been one bill, one debate,
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one word in any bill about job creation yet for this country. so we are back here today because we believe that we are eager to do what the majority has refused to do. and what you have done in maryland, and we appreciate all that you've done so very much. if we were to renew the build america bonds program, which expired december 31 of 2010, which gives you a 35% interest subsidy on bonds sold by the state of maryland for the kind of investment that you are talking about, what would you do in maryland and, jobs would you create if we extended that program? >> well, i can tell you that maryland issued about $470 billion from the build america bonds. i can also tell you that we saved, that the state of maryland herself state about $20 million with that service
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that we are able to put instead to other things like schools or school construction, and those types of things. i cannot pay off the top of my head, i meant embarrassed to say, the exact number of jobs that support. we should do a better job of making that case with you and for you. and part of my hope in coming here today is also to convey on behalf of the democratic governors of american our desire to be stronger partners with you in making the case to the people we serve with these sorts of things. i think we did that well with recovery and reinvestment act we need to do a better job of quantifying that. >> we think you've done a great job in document job creation by actually doing it. those 26,000 marylanders that are working the issue that were networking last year, i think that speaks volumes. let me also ask you this. i know that you have done in maryland what only one president in modern times has done.
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that's bill clinton, and that's balance a budget every year. and one of the refrains that we hear from the absent landlords of this place, the absent majority, it is well, we don't want to add spending. we want to cut the deficit. of course, they voted to increase the deficit by over a trillion dollars when they try to repeal the health care bill but that's another matter. they say they don't want to increase the deficit. we say okay, as the leader said let's find a fiscally responsible way to do this. and i just want to ask what you think marylanders would think about this. if we renewed the build america bonds program that has done so well in your state, it would cost us about $600 million a year. $600 billion a year to do that. presently, we spend $4 billion a year on subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies. now, one of those oil companies yesterday just reported its profit was up 58% last year. their profit was $30.5 billion.
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what is your view of reducing a $4 billion subsidy for one of the most successful industries in the world in order to support with some of that money a jobs program for people in the state of merit and the united states of american? >> i think our imperative has to be jobs as the most important thing. you can't make progress if people aren't working. right now the number one inherited needs to be jobs. i'm sure that exxon are some of the other oil companies would find a way to make up those dollars. indeed, they already are but i don't think they are hurting for those dollars. people in the construction trades about our country are hurting for jobs. >> thank you, governor, the extent you could shift that to job creation. >> thank you, governor in addition to you being here today, the majority is your to vote on a bill like that that would put people back to work. thank you.
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>> thank you, governor for being with us today. let me follow up on the build america bonds. how long are you going to be paying those bonds? on a 20 or 30 or 40 dupont? >> i don't know. i can say that traditionally we have a pretty short repayment period in our state, much more brief time period than others. and i cannot pay off the top of my head. my guess is it's more of a-15 or 20 year. >> so for 15 of 20 years you will be making those payments. have you noticed any pattern about the bidding on these projects, whether it's higher or lower than usual? had a contract been coming in with unusually low bids? >> there is so much competition. contractors are so hungry that we are getting some of the best prices we have in the last 10 years. >> so for the next 15 or 20 years, your payments will be
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lower because you get this you rather than two years ago, rather than two years from now? >> that's absolutely right. in fact, we increased our power and capacity because we know, as your question is that we're getting a better value right now but making those investment and other long-term return of benefits to a. >> the added benefits of we need to jobs right now. now, on infrastructure, the improvements we're making, what does that do question mention on the porch but what about on the transportation infrastructure in terms of your ability to compete? you've got the washington metropolitan area listed as of the worst or the worst traffic jam is in the country. what does that do to your ability to attract jobs to this area the? >> it is increasingly, it is becoming bigger and bigger factor in attracting jobs to this area. and in keeping jobs in this area. which plays into a host of other
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costs as well in terms of sprawl and everything else that goes with us. we have a backlog. we are not making investments in our infrastructure at the responsible in afraid to keep up with the pace of our population growth. and it's impacting our quality of our quality of life, and some of the best businesses and the smartest people can choose to live anywhere in the country. and more and more they factor in that quality-of-life issue as to how much of their life is lost by sitting in traffic on the roads. >> you mention a substantial portion of your cats had to be in areas of your budget was in areas, i think 87%. can you tell us how much of that goes to actual salaries? so when you cut a dollars worth of state payment, how many jobs, give any indication?
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you i think talk about a billion and some dollars that you have to cut. you have any jobs -- how many jobs that will result in? >> let me try to answer your question in this way. i can tell you, congressman, for the last three years that all of our state employees have had to endure furlough days ranging from 10 and paydays a year i believe at the highest, level of pay, and then progressively less for people that make less. i can tell you that in some of the counties they have had to have a furlough days as well because of the dollars are not there from our formulas and education and the like. they don't have the dollars that i haven't been able to do for three years we were not able to do any cost of living adjustment at all. and no raises for state employees. and with a limited 4200 positions this year. we are looking through an early
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retirement incentive to eliminate another 1000 to 1500 positions, if we can people we don't have a lot of takers. we don't have a lot of takers that want to volunteer to the early retired and out there in the job market. >> now, when you cut spending, you lay people off. there's other spending come if you're not building roads for example, and the road building is link people also there are other people not just a employees, but others when you cut spending, have a serious impact. >> and there has been a lot of shifting, especially as this recession has gone on, that we've had to divert from some capital, some capital dollars and we have to divert them to the general fund really. we don't want to do. we know they support jobs. we know they support important infrastructure, but we are trying to weather the storm without throwing our people overboard. >> thank you very much, mr.
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chairman. >> to ares i would like to discuss. number one, you as a mayor and the governor have presented many budgets every year. and budget is assigned. and i'm very concerned about our friends on the other side of the aisle, the republicans, stating that they want to cut 5%, 6%, or whatever. what concerns me is that when you budget your luck at your programs. you do program review. you decide what you can have and what you can't. there might be some good programs that you can't afford them. but what bothers me when you do a across the board cutting, you take some of your best programs, and its budgeting and about privatization. i would just like to, your philosophy would be as far as a across the border centric versus looking at every program and making sure that the programs that you keep are the programs that will work, it will make you stronger at the end. do you agree with that across the board republican philosophy
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that hearing that what really concerns me or in reviewing each program and deciding what the priorities are? >> i believe that any of us were in executive positions and congressmen, you are as one great account executives of baltimore county, we have a responsibility to line by line. this notion of doing an across the board cut is great for mitigation. it's real simple and it's really simply wrong. you cannot whether this sort of strong, -- whether this is sort of storm if you'll do an across the board cut. for five years we were able to actually, for four years we were able to increase education funding, even as we cut other aspects of state government. it's all been very tough, but i don't know any other way to do it. frankly, i do not in executive suites at night if he or she hasn't gone line by line through the budget to do it in the way that protects our priorities and
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protects the most vulnerable among us. >> could answer. -- good answer. >> that was a softball by the way. the other issue is the issue of infrastructure and transportation. you know, congresswoman edwards knows how serious the washington region is as far as traffic. it does have an impact on jobs. and when the decision has been made to put all this growth as an example, in our state, fort meade, cybersecurity come in as a, all of these issues and these people coming to these areas, we must provide infrastructure and transportation. i have another concern with my friends on the other side of the aisle is that i'm hearing, and i'm not sure whether it's do or not that we're not going to be funding the transportation needs of all of our areas throughout
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the country. and we do know and you can look back at eisenhower and the transportation and infrastructure, how important that is to create jobs, number one, but also make sure you retain jobs and you can increase or economic development. do you have an opinion on the need that your city and the country, state and local jurisdictions, need federal money to help them move forward with a deteriorating infrastructure throughout this country, roads, bridges, rail, all of the different areas of transportation? >> we sure do. i know i speak for every democratic governor, and actually even the republican governors behind closed doors will tell you honestly that we have a tremendous backlog in terms of infrastructure needs in all of our states are on the road, especially next generation, mass transit, there are many clever things we can do to improve government, but there's no clever way to build a $60 million bridge for $10 million. i wish we could eat cake and lose weight.
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that's not possible. this country is important enough for us to defend abroad. she should be important enough for us to defend by investing in her here at home. when we are investing only 2% of our gross domestic product in our infrastructure in china and europe are investing 10%, what does that tell you about the pirate of those countries are placing on their future compared to the value that we are currently placing on hours? >> that's why we needed infrastructure bank bank. >> is it agree that you agree with congressman and his analogy of the oil companies getting all of that money and that we need bond money to build roads, bridges, whatever? it assumed he would agree with that is because i absolutely. i also agree with the present assertion that we to invest in the next renewable sources of energy. >> governor, thank you very much
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for sharing your thoughts and your accomplishments with us. and we look forward to working with you. i would just make the point when i hear you talk about this investment portfolio that you're making for maryland, i hope that all of our colleagues in the public understand that these investments are being made by all of our competitors all over the world. and if we don't make them those companies will not come here. innovation manufacturing will not take place in the united states. so thank you so much for your leadership on that. thank you. we will now begin with our second panel. i would like to -- rosa, you want to -- >> is the mayor speedy's he will join us. >> the mayor is on his way up? let me invite the rest of the failed to please come up and said that it will come and the mayor will join a panel. mr. herrmann.
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mr. silvers. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> we're going to introduce the other panel members come and i will introduce the mayor when he comes forward. mr. andy herman who is president of the mayors -- we can move forward.
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welcome. welcome, mr. mayor. good to see you. where the trains running between washington and philadelphia? [inaudible] >> good. i'm headed back to connecticut on the train. we are delighted to have this panel here today, and i'll introduce a portion of the panel. mr. miller will do likewise. joining us today is the mayor of philadelphia which is america's sixth largest city, the honorable michael nutter. over the course of his tenure in office the mayor has worked really and job growth. and his city by emphasizing education and workforce training. he has been committed to further developing philadelphia, along the delaware river, wise and careful planning for the future of the city. and what he has done primarily is emphasizing the importance of
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key investments in order to create jobs and to generate economic activity. that includes expansion of the philadelphia international airport, reconstruction of i 95, and investment in water and wastewater infrastructure. it is a supporter which i keep mentioning of infrastructure bank concept. he's met with the president's of the past to make the case or a more direct investment in america's cities. mayor, we are delighted have you with us today. what are also due, let me introduce mr. herrmann who is president-elect of the american society of civil engineers. and he is a principal, consulting engineering firm, founded in 1887. he has managed the for many of its bridge project his experience covers rating
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writing, design, rehabilitation and construction of bridges. he has been interviewed on the topic our nation's infrastructure magazines, newspapers, radio, television. testified before the relevant house and senate committees. he serves on the advisory council. we all know the report card grades. we all understand abcd, and there was a d. in terms of our current infrastructure. so the reports have been an eye-opener for the need for investment and moving forward. again, supporter of the infrastructure bank concept but we thank you for coming today. and also like to introduce director of policy a special counsel for afl-cio damon silvers. no stranger to us. in addition to his work with afl-cio he currently serves as our five member congressional oversight panel overseeing
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t.a.r.p. he has served as chair of the competition subcommittee for treasuries advisory committee on the auditing profession, member of the working group on financial markets. afl-cio and u.s. chamber recently put out a joint statement following the present state of union address urging more investments in rebuilding america. and i think you and i think the afl-cio for being supportive of the infrastructure bank concept. pleasure to have you with us, mr. miller. >> thank you. thank you madam vice chair. we will also give them susan monteverde was the vice president president of government relations with the american association of port authorities. they've been working to strengthen expand economic opportunities in america's ports. prior to joining the aba she was the departmendepartment for environment and public affairs of the american chemical society and work with government affairs operation national ways that the association for our next witness
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will be dr. william it was a vice president of economics and research with american road and transportation builders association which represent over 5000 public and private sector members who are engaged in building and maintaining the transportation for such. dr. buechner is responsible for maintaining the associations program and research and analysis, prior to joining he was missing a comes for the congressional joint economic committee. welcome to all of you. and mayor nutter, we will begin with you. >> company chairman miller, thank you very, very much. leader pelosi, thank you for the invitation and co-chair to laura, thank you very much for the very kind comments that you mention. it's all member of the democratic steering and policy committee, thank you for this opportunity to be with you this afternoon.
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[inaudible] >> the green light is on. a little closer? do you want me to start over, mr. chairman? i'm pleased to be here this afternoon. my name is michael nutter, mayor of the city of philadelphia, and representatives delauro, let me assure you that we are working very, very hard in the hope that the 2010 session shows that we're the fifth largest city and the states of america. we'll see what the results are later on this spring. i'm the second vice president of u.s. conference of mayors and also serve as the national finance chair for the national democratic mayors conference as well. i thank you for this opportuni opportunity, madam chair and get all of the members of the committee. i appreciate this opportunity testified regarding the need to create jobs in america's cities. economic recovery will require a partnership between the federal government and the cities. president obama outlined the overall direction in his state of union address last week.
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i want to briefly address ways that the federal government can give cities the tools that we need to pull out of this recession your let me talk about what philadelphia has done. since taking office three years ago our administration has improve the business climate in philadelphia despite the severe recession. here are a few examples. since i've been in office homicide has been reduced by 23% in the city of philadelphiladelphia. businesses will not locate in the city if it is not safe, and its citizens do not feel safe. before i was elected the remaining monitors attached to the city of the delta. thanks to good policing and improved management we are now at the level with many other large american cities. we are cutting the cost of doing business in philadelphia as well. for example, we've addressed structural economic problems by taxes which we are reducing, bring them in line again with many other cities across
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america. finally, we have pursued federal funding opportunities aggressively and have spent our funding in a timely fashion and in smart ways. whether it is the energy efficiency block grant, energy and weatherization programs, we received a competitive grant from the department of energy that has provided weatherization for thousands of homes for low income and working-class residents. significant grants and bill -- building a hotel hotel near the university of pennsylvania and make it 27% more efficiency, for historic renovation and undervalued part of this interceded energy fund to make that building 26% more energy efficient. ..
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>> mixed use development, a project near temple university, redevelopment of historic medical college of pennsylvania's campus, and the meat manufacturer in the american street enterprise zone. these help to finance two flexible buildings being constructed at the former philadelphia navy yard business park, a $14 million project, and when completed, these buildings will house companies with approximately 300 jobs. we just announced that a couple weeks ago. that was the first new construction by liberty property trust since may of 2009. and speaking of our former navy
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yard, i want to note that last year philadelphia was designated as one of only 13 hubs of excellence by the department of energy. the partnership between the city of philadelphia and penn state university and a host of other consortium members. tomorrow president obama will go to penn state to discuss this project which is an example of his call for more focus on innovation to create jobs. let me talk a little bit about our federal partnership with cities and the federal government can do together. we need you to continue partnering with us by providing much-needed funding for this work. we are balancing our punt, we are tightening our belts. we have made cuts, we have raised taxes, we have reduced the size of the work force, and yet we're still providing good service to our citizens, and we're being good stewards of our public funds. after two years in drops in revenue, the finances of the city of philadelphia are now stable. we still need your help for
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large projects that cannot be financed at the local level. let me mention, again, three areas of great need. cdbg. cities like philadelphia rely heavily on the program for housing and economic development, and i want to stress both. these are some of the most flexible dollars available anywhere, and they have a direct impact on the ground not only by putting shelter or creating affordable housing, but they also put people to work very quickly. we have an estimate that every $1 million provided in cdbg under this program produces between 50 and 200 construction jobs and approximately ten full-time, permanent jobs. infrastructure. philadelphia cannot compete with the cities of china or europe and others around the world if our water pipes are bursting, our port is not state of the art or our airports are not able to
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you and expand to take on -- able to grow and expand to take on traffic. federal government plays an important role in infrastructure investments in cities. these are not just projects to throw money at. these are projects that put people to work. we move goods and services around our cities, across our regions, across the united states of america. we, unfortunately, are falling behind, and cities cannot make these kinds of investments by ourselves. these are serious jobs that create solid middle class incomes for people to take care of themselves and their families. mass transit funding. the president has correctly noted the importance of constructing and maintaining good rail and road systems like the one that brought me here today. philadelphia has a great mass transit system, but unfortunately, because of lack of funding, it has its infrastructure challenges and problems, needs to be expanded and supported. cities like philadelphia used to have world class transit
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systems, but because of a lack of federal investment, other cities around the world are clearly surpassing us in this area. madam leader and members of this committee, i could give you tons of other examples, but i recognize i'm not the only person on this panel and certainly want to leave time for any questions that you might have. so, leader pelosi and all the members, thank you again very much for this opportunity to talk about our little place, the city of philadelphia, the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection. [laughter] thank you very much. >> thank you very much to our co-chairs, congresswoman delauro and congressman miller, for providing this opportunity for us to hear from you today, mr. mayor. we're honored by the presence of all of our members of the panel. mr. buechner, mr. hermann and ms. monteverde and silvers. we look forward to hearing your testimony, we thank you for your leadership and for being here. mr. mayor, i had the opportunity of singing your praises at the conference of mayors a week, i
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guess it was a week ago now, and i thank you. we're honored by your presence, we're grateful for your leadership. clearly, from your testimony philadelphia under your leadership is outeducating, outinnovating and outbuilding others, and thank you for being a model to the country. look forward to your further testimony today. >> thank you, madam leader. >> mr. hermann. >> thank you. thank you for the introduction. we've worked on a number of the bridges in your state. good afternoon. i'm andrew hermann, president-elect of the american society of civil engineers. on behalf of the more than 140,000 members of the society, i'm honored to be here today to share some information about the nation's crumbling infrastructure. acce's 2009 with report card graded the nation's infrastructure a d, and that was based on 15 categories of infrastructure that we looked at. and it's unfortunate because
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it's the same overall grade as we found in our 2005 report card. we stated that the nation needs to invest approximately $2.2 trillion in the five-year period from 2009 to 2014 to maintain the national infrastructure in a state of good repair. this number represents capital spending at all levels of government and includes what is already being spent. but even with the current and planned investments from federal, state and local governments from 2009 to 2014, the gap between the overall need and the actual spending will exceed $1 trillion by the end of the five-year period. in the report card, the nation's surface transportation system included roads which received a grade of d-. bridges receiving a grade of c, and our transit receiving a grade of d. with nearly one-third of our roads in poor or mediocre condition, a quart or of the bridges structurally deficient or obsolete, and transit use
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increasing to its highest levels in 50 years, it's not hard to see why the nation's surface transportation system is in a state of critical decline. tissuely, just these -- additionally, just bringing these three categories up to satisfactory would require $1.3 trillion according to our estimates. it costs the economy billions in every year, and millions are injured or killed in collisions. if the nation continues to underinvest in infrastructure and ignores this backlog until systems fail, we'll incur even greater costs. asce is concerned with the increasing deterioration of america's infrastructure, reduced investment for the preservation of enhancement of our quality of life and be with the threatened decline of u.s. competitiveness. in response, we have not only o issued multiple report cards going back as far as 1998, but
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we have sought to advance solutions that can provide for a clean and safe quality of life as well as fuel economic growth. these solutions include increased federal leadership in infrastructure, the promotion of sustainability and resilience, the development of federal, regional, state infrastructure plans, addressing life cycle costs and ongoing maintenance and to increase investment from all stakeholders. to achieve these solutions, we need a clear national infrastructure visioning, a better-informed public and performance-based data that can target investments which reward good performance. by addressing these issues with smart infrastructure investments, we can develop a safer and more economically competitive nation. it is long published that money invested in the central public works can create jobs, provide for economic growth and insure public safety through a modern, well-engineered national infrastructure. by improving the nation's
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deteriorating infrastructure system, both economic and job creation opportunities will be provided while creating a multimodal transportation system for the 31st century. -- 21st century. the nation's transportation infrastructure system has an annual output of $120 billion in construction work and contributes $244 billion in total economic activity to the nation's gross domestic product. in addition to the overarching economic benefits, the federal highway administration estimates that every $1 billion invested in nation's highways supports 28,000 jobs including 9500 on site construction jobs, 4300 jobs in supplier industries and 14,000 jobs throughout the rest of the economy. additionally, standard or and poor's has stated highway investment has shown to still -- stimulate the economy more than any other industry in the short term, and while cambridge
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systematics estimates every dollar spent generates $6 in economic returns. while taken for granted by most americans, our infrastructure is the foundation on which the national economy depends. as the economy grows, these assets must adjust accordingly. the current system was originally built in the 1950s and the 1960s at a time when the country had different transportation needs and a smaller population. with an expanding population and a larger economy, the nation needs a transportation system that can keep pace. unfortunately, due to the rapid growth of the country, highway and freight capacity fail to keep up. just last month the texas transportation institute released a 2010 urban mobility report which paints an accurate picture of urban congestion in the united states. the cost of congestion in the nation has risen from 24 billion in 1982 to 115 billion in 2009. the average cost to commuters
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has risen to over $800 per motorist in 2009 compared to the inflation-adjusted $350 in 1982. as the nation grows, the surface transportation system has not kept pace leading to a drain on the economy and delayed delivery of goods and services. to meet the demands of our global economy, congress must enact a multiyear surface transportation authorization build that enhances and improves connectivity and level of service across the nation. in addition, we must make improving safety and performing ongoing maintenance a priority. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. leader pelosi and members of the steering and policy committee, i thank you very much for inviting the american road and transportation builders to be part of your session this afternoon. i'm the chief economist, and my job at atba is to deal with the
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facts about investment. at a time like this when the economy's not performing the way we would like, it's very natural to judge the benefits of transportation investment largely in terms of jobs. and there's no doubt with almost 25% of construction workers unemployed during this past recession that jobs are very important benefit of federal transportation investment. mr. hermann gave you the job numbers with $120 billion worth of construction work being performed on projects. each year we're looking at around three and a half million jobs in the u.s. economy. about a third of those actual construction jobs, a lot in supplier industries like asphalt and stone crushing and about half again throughout the rest of the economy and jobs that many people may not even understand are being supported
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by federal investment, state and local investment in transportation construction. most of these are well paid, middle class american jobs, so we just cannot afford to lose them. but i'd like to point out that the construction jobs are just the tip of the iceberg of the impact of transportation investment. even more important are the jobs and economic activity that could not exist in the american economy without our nation's modern transportation infrastructure be. the simple fact is that more than 78 million jobs are in the u.s. economy just in industries that are highly dependent on transportation. tourism, manufacturing, mining, general construction, agriculture, wholesale, retail. these dependent industries provide a total payroll in excess of $2.8 trillion, and just in payroll taxes contribute
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over $230 billion federal and state payroll taxes on top of that hundreds of billions of dollars of income taxes, sales taxes, vehicle registration fees, all kinds of other revenues that come to state and local and federal governments because of the economic activity that's supported by our transportation infrastructure. the u.s. is experiencing intense competition from emerging economies around the world. our transportation infrastructure is critical to our competitiveness. we started with a great advantage, the investment that america made in the interstate highways decades ago. but we're losing that advantage. china, india, europe, they're all investing more in new capacity than we are because they recognize the importance of transportation infrastructure to their economic competitiveness. and we need to do that as well.
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one of the most powerful things congress can do right now to create new jobs and support existing ones is to pass a multiyear reauthorization of the federal highway and transit programs. the highway trust fund's football challenges -- financial challenges are well established, but we should not also lose sight of the fact that there are opportunities to support jobs and employment both through the core program investments and the highway and transit program as well as policy reforms such as the greater use of public/private partnerships, accelerating the development of needed transportationing improvements and by prioritizing limited federal resources to deliver long-term, productive transportation assets. for all these reasons, we believe enactment of a surface transportation bill should be a top priority of the house and
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senate in 2011. thank you. >> thank you. it's a pleasure today to be with so many of you who have courts in be your district, and, mayor nutter, i'm a philadelphia native. much of my family still lives in center city, so it's a pleasure to be with people who understand and get it about jobs. for centuries seaports have served as a vital economic lifeline by bringing goods and services to people around the world and by delivering prosperity to our nation. aapa's u.s. members handle 99% of the country's overseas trade by volume and are essential to u.s. exports, u.s. manufacturers who often rely on imported products to manufacture their goods and to u.s. consumers. every day we are surrounded by products that plow through u.s. port -- flow through u.s. ports, the clothes we wear, the coffee we drink, the fuel to drive our
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cars. u.s. seaports' activity generate more than $3 trillion in economic activity annually and support more than 13 million american workers including some of the highest of-paid union jobs in the country. efficient federal transportation systems into and out of our ports are especially important be for our nation's ability to meet the president's goal of doubling exports. price-sensitive exports such as agricultural products are especially can be helped by efficiency impriew.des that -- improvements that create transportation savings for shippers. a key investment that can make us more efficient is fully using harbor maintenance fees paid each year to maintain our federal channels. unfortunately, congress only appropriates about half of what is paid each year while maintenance needs are outstanding. this has resulted in a $5.6 billion surplus in the harbor maintenance trust fund.
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this must not be allowed to continue. investments in land site infrastructure are also essential to bring town the cost of exports -- down the cost of exports. freight mobility programs must be a high priority in the next surface transportation reauthorization bill. programs such as t.i.g.e. r. started under the stimulus law also have provided much-needed funds for port programs and should continue. and other programs such as the diesel emissions control act and the port security grants have provided federal support to make environmental and security enhancements that are critical to port sustainability. finally, passage of trade agreements are also important in order to give our exports more access to foreign markets. be i want to thank you -- i want to thank you today for allowing, including ports in your look at how we can create jobs and how ports can support our export initiative. >> [inaudible]
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>> so thank you and good afternoon. i'm damon silvers, i'm the policy directer and special counsel to the afl-cio. on behalf of the 55 member unions and 12 million americans who are members of the afl-cio, i want to express our gratitude to leader pelosi and to the co-chairs for calling this hearing and in particular for your courageous leadership fighting for jobs beginning with the pass -- passage of the recovery act of 2009. at the heart of the economic crisis is the fact that we have an 11 million job hole in our economy. eighteen months into our economic recovery, our economy is not creating enough jobs simply to keep up with employment growth. addressing the jobs crisis is the most urgent task facing our
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nation's leaders. until we with address the jobs crisis, economic growth and fiscal stability will be fleeting and impermanent. at the same time, our nation is now living amid the consequences of our failure both to invest in our nation's backbone, the roads, bridgings, water works, ports and airports that underpinned our nation's prosperity in the century that just ended as well as our failure to move forward with the investments we must make in the technologies that will drive national competitiveness in this century; low-carbon energy, smart electrical grids, universal broadband's and high-speed rail, and you have heard from my fellow panelists at some length about the nature of the challenges we face in all of these areas. in particular, as you've heard from the civil engineers, we need to invest trillions of dollars just to keep our national infrastructure inheritance in good working order. but not letting our bridges and roads decay will not be enough
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if we are going to be a prosperous, 21st century middle class society. we must invest trillions more in the technologies of the future. and most of all, we must invest in our people through upgrading our educational system at every level and in every way. for these reasons the afl-cio last week joined with the u.s. chamber of commerce -- as you noted in the introduction -- to urge our elected leaders to move forward with the broad vision of investing in our nation's future that president obama outlined so eloquently in his state of the union address. we literally cannot wait any longer. the millions of unemployed americans cannot wait. the majority of americans whose wages have stagnated during the era of wall street dominance of our economy cannot wait. as we meet here today, congress has important measures before it that must pass if we are to create jobs and invest in our nation's future. passing the surface transportation and the federal
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aviation administration reauthorization bills, passing the water resources development act, making permanent the build america bonds program, creating a national infrastructure bank as co-chair delauro has urged upon us today, these measures together would begin -- would, a, put millions of people to work and, b, begin in a significant way to rebuild our country in a manner that we must do if we are going to prosper in a 21st century global economy. jobs now is what america wants. but we want more than just the job. we want to do the work our country desperately needs done. the tragedy of our time is that we have a 16% official youth unemployment rate, and we all know the real rate is so much higher. which means that young people are at risk of never properly integrating into the work force while all over our country we desperately need young people's skills and energy building the
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foundations of a more competitive america. the stakes could not be higher for working americans, for our nation's economic future and for our world. jobs now means growth for america. jobs now means rising incomes and falling deficits. jobs now means rebuilding our country. jobs now means an america where we make thicks again -- things again, where we export more than we import, where we lead the world toward an environmentally and economically sustainable and prosperous future. that's the kind of future the american people deserve. thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you for joining the committee with your expertise and your knowledge in this, in this manner. mr. buechner, one of the ideas around the recovery act was that we would make both immediate investments in road improvements and constructions and bridge repairs, but we also make some
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longer-term investments looking toward the future in terms of high-speed rail, the grid system in the unite so that if manufacturing or population shifts were made, it would be able to accommodate them. so this would be done over a period of time. i just wondered if you might comment on how that has played out. i know that in my particular area i've had grading contractors who simply said, but for this i would have lost the company, and these were wildly successful people in the home-building industry and all the infrastructure that was created around home building, and then the music stopped. and that made the difference in terms of their ability to hold on to their companies, their employees and their families, of course. >> well, i think the recovery act was very important. in a recession state and local budgets are hit very hard, they're probably the hardest hit financial aspect of the economy during a recession. and state and local governments
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during this last recession probably cut back in their own investment in highways and bridges by about $5-$10 billion. state and local governments provide a little over half of all the money that's spent on improvements to highways and bridges, and $5-$10 billion cutback would have put employment in this particular segment down like all of the other construction industry. but the recovery act filled that hole. unfortunately, we didn't see a lot of additional construction work, but it certainly saved this particular part of the industry and, in fact, during this recession transportation construction was the only segment of the construction industry ha did not lose -- that did not lose jobs, did not go down in terms of construction. and today 15% of all the construction work in the country is performed on transportation projects which is about double what we used to have.
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the important thing, though, in the long run is that the recovery act money did enable state and local governments to make a lot of necessary improvements to roads and bridges. but it certainly was not enough. we should be in the federal government spending or informing about -- investing $55-$60 billion a year just in the highway system, about another $15 billion in transit. and for one year the recovery act closed that gap. but we're back down now where we're investing a lot less at the federal level, a lot less at the state and local level, and so that was a one-time very important thing. it preserved jobs that would have vanished. but we still need to do a lot more. >> thank you. ms. monteverde, if i might just quickly, the shipping industry
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has constantly innovated over the last 25 years with the size of ships, with propulsion systems, with all of the things that go on. but it also requires a very substantial investment shore side to meet with that investment, to meet with the economic decisions about whether or not a port will become a port of call or not because time is money in this business if that ship is sitting in port waiting to be unloaded or loaded or what cargoes can be delivered to that port in a, in an economic fashion. i just wondered if you might comment on our ability to keep pace with that innovation that we see in shipping as they search for the shortest routes, the most efficient ports in the world with. where do we stack up? >> well, the u.s. in maritime is not the world leader. however, we have a very large economy. other, if you look at world marine transportation, we're not the leader. however, we do have a lot of great ports, and what we really
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need in the u.s. is regional ports. just to be able to handle our imports and exports. so, for example, one or two with big ports is not really going to help you. for example, on the west coast the ports of l.a./long beach is one of the largest ports in the nation and one of the most modern. however, they really don't have room for agricultural products, for let's say car imports and things like that. so we really have a collection of ports that serve a variety of regional needs. now, we're not the world transportation hub, and we probably never will be because we don't have deep enough ports, and we don't have the technology -- we haven't adopted the technology that other ports like hong kong and other transshipment ports have. however, we do in the united states have a system where the footprint of the port is really managed by the authority authority. what you -- port authority. what you heard earlier from governor o'malley with the private/public partnership was really an issue for the states
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and the fed -- not really the federal goth. the federal government's role is to provide the necessary resources for the federal channel which are 100% paid by these fees i was talking about before. no other taxpayer money dose to that for maintenance projects. it's all paid for, we're just not appropriating the money we're collecting. and also the road access. if those parts are clogged, then we can't bring in more imports, and we can't export. it costs too much money to export. so what we really look for, it's not necessarily are we going to be these big transshipment ports in the world. we're not. but what can we do decrease the transportation costs, to also decrease congestion on the road because that's a big issue as well. if you have a big port near you, you might have a lot of congestion. can we do more to put the cargo on the rail, can we do more to put cargo on what we call short
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sea shipping, bringing it up and down the coast like we see in europe. and so those are the federal investments that we really need to prioritize for our nation to go forward. >> mayor nutter, you were nodding your head there. you've got a congestion problem around your port? [laughter] >> fortunately, mr. chairman, the philadelphia port is one of the few large ports in the nation that has the ability to grow and expand, and i don't want to start any difficulty with my good friend across the way, representative andrews. [laughter] we had a slight difference of policy opinion with regard to dredging, for instance, the delaware to 45 feet because it would allow us to take in larger ships. we have a project now, south port, about 200 acres that we're trying to put out in the marketplace. there are numerous companies that are sitting on the sidelines with capital to invest. the philadelphia port is one of the large ports that has the ability to grow further and take
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goods into that port whereas other ports have reached their capacity. but the one, part of the main message that i want to mention here today is it is astounding to all of us as mayors back home, and i'll just make two points, that the federal government does not have a capital budget. i can't run the city without a capital budget. states can't run without capital budgets. the federal government has no capital budget. now, three months into my tenure in march of 2008 a pen dot bridge inspector happened to go to get a classic philadelphia cheesesteak at a store. while on the way going back to his truck to eat, he he happened to look up and noticed a huge crack in i-95. now, i-95 runs through my city, but it's not mine. it's yours.
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it was closed for three days and compromised commerce and other traffic from baltimore to new york during its closure. i don't have a dime to fix i-95. flipside of that, the south street bridge in philadelphia, historic bridge, a great bridge. we made the decision after ten years prior to my tenure. we closed that bridge for repairs, literally parts of the bridge were falling into the river. we started restricting traffic. before you know it, the last thing that could go over the south street bridge was a bicycle, we were so worried about what was going to happen. it's a $68 million project, 80 % -- this is preera. 80% funded by the federal government, 15% funded by the commonwealth of pennsylvania, 5% funded by the city of philadelphia. not only was that bridge done on budget, we actually opened it a month early through construction during the hottest summer and the worst winter in
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philadelphia's history. we know how to get projects done, and that leads to my last point which is i know in the rush to make things happen with ara and getting the country back on its feet, and our good friend, governor o'malley, was here. but before he was a great governor, he was a great mayor. mayors know how to get things done on the ground, and should there be any other small, medium or large projects, i would only implore you as members of congress, we will invite you to every groundbreaking and every ribbon cutting. please, send the money to local governments. [laughter] local and metropolitan governments. we have the expertise, we dot our is, we cross our ts. if we can't find $15, it will be on the front page of the paper, and i can at least tell you in philadelphia, every bridge goes somewhere. [laughter] so, you know, when the money comes directly to the cities,
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and not to get into a city/state fight, but a lot of times it goes up at the top, doesn't find it way down on the ground in cities. we can get those dollars out the door, we will make you proud of what happens with the investments that you make in cities all across america. >> thank you, thank you very much, mr. miller and i want to thank the panel very, very much. i will just say this, mayor nutter, i in an earlier incarnation was the chief of staff for a mayor of the city of new haven, so it's where the rubber meets the road, so to speak here, and be what you have to do with services. i just want to take a look at putting things into perspective. governor o'malley talked about we've become a nation where we consume, we do not build. and this is about building as the, as our leader pointed out today and where our future lies and in that building what kind of jobs are created. i just want to say a word about
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surface transportation. everyone has mentioned that. i won't go through all the details, but you ought to take a very, very close look at what the republican study committee have come up with in terms of reducing funding levels, reducing funding levels for the urban area formula transit fixed guideway modernization, transit funding, cut about 21%, 13% in highway funding and just across the board. it translates roughly, and there's a number of views about what that would cost in jobs, it's about 300,000 jobs in transportation. look at it carefully. it's, it's coming, and it's coming fast in terms of what you need to look at. but what i want to ask you about because we talked about surface transportation, we've talked about the projects you are engaged in, the governor did that as well.
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$2.2 trillion? we can't get there from here. we can't get there from here. what are the new -- and i know, i'm not fishing for the answer, but i want your view on a national infrastructure development bank. that creates a bank that can issue public investment, a public benefit bonds, that can leverage public investment with private dollars and get those institutional investors including sovereign funds and others to invest so that we are building infrastructure here. the way the europeans are doing it, the way the asians are doing it with those development banks. i want to create better efforts here with what we already have in our kit. the build america bonds and these other pieces, but whether it's ports, whether it's road
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and bridges, whether it's a smart grid, whether it's broadband or telecommunications, what is our future thinking for a national growth strategy on infrastructure and the relevance of this kind of a tool in order for us to get there? >> yes. >> mayor? >> i agree. [laughter] >> but how do we get, how do we get the impetus and the avenue to do that? we can talk about it or we can just keep going back to what's there already and trying to take this piece and put it here, this piece put it -- what's the new concept and how do we develop that new concept? >> well, madam co-chair, i guess, i mean, you've -- [laughter] you've laid out the road map. i mean, i'm ready to sign up. [laughter] you know, where do i go? >> i don't want to you to sign up, i want you to lead the charge. >> i'd be glad to. >> i want you to lead the charge
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in getting us where we need to go. >> madam co-chair, i would have to say, i mean, i just met these folks, i can't speak for them -- [laughter] i cannot imagine democrat or republican as you were a former chief of staff, there is no democrat or republican way of filling a pothole, building a bridge, creating a job. the insane proposals that, i mean, you rattled off what the, i mean, that's like the planned obsolescence of the united states of america. this is insanity, the kinds of things that are being discussed about these cuts. the mayors of the country are prepared to lead. what we need, with every respect, we need some work to be done here. the problem is not out in the cities across the united states of america. there is something going on in this town where all these ideas come forward. i mean, you print the money, we will spend it well. i'm for an infrastructure bank. i'm for investing in bridges,
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our waterways. you want us to have clean water, you send us mandates that we have to pay for, no money comes with it. i like clean water as much as the next person, but i have to raise the water rates back home to pay for it. we're ready to raise our voices. if we need to spend more time here, you know, i'll get an apartment. whatever. [laughter] >> tough talk. >> i mean, the time for all the debate and the talk, i mean, is really over. >> right. >> millions of americans are unemployed. they sit at home and watch on c-span debates among people who have jobs, who have health care debate whether or not they should have a job or health care or unemployment benefits. >> amen. >> i mean, this is crazy. so i'm ready to work. tell me where to sign up, what else you need to do, organize u.s. conference, democrat mayors, republican mayors because we can't get away with the kind of stuff that goes on down here back home. when i get off the train at 30th
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street station, when i get in my car, when i pull up on the sidewalk at city hall, i can assure you someone's going to walk up to me and say, mayor, i need a job. i need a place to send them. they don't want to hear about this is up, that's down, this one likes the other one, we're not getting along, we sat together but now we're fighting each other with now an era of civility -- i mean, really. we have to get serious about this. so, i mean, i'm ready. >> thank you. >> to the panelists and certainly mayor nutter, thank you very much for your testimony, for being here. let me see if i could ask a couple of questions to give us some comparisons. too often it's too easy for us to forget where we were losing 750,000 jobs a month when the president was handed the keys to the white house. we were in negative growth. we weren't sure if small business would be able to get credit.
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and today we've seen close to a year of steady growth, more growth in the manufacturing sector than we've seen in several years. consumer or confidence levels, highest points since early last year. corporate profits at their highest levels since the beginning of the bush recession. but yet we still have millions of american jobs to create because so many were lost during this bush recession. but we hear about what you're talking about which is investing in america, and i don't think anyone would look at this as wasteful spending to try to build a new school or repair the bridge that goes somewhere or to fix that road, that highway or street. and so i wonder, we saw what the british government did when it faced similar circumstances. they said let's contract the size of the government's budget
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because we have to get our house in order. and many people warned that if they were to do that too quickly, they might endanger their ongoing recovery the way we were trying to make sure that we didn't imperil our ongoing recovery. we took a different tack than the new british government did. we made investments through the american reinvestment and recovery act in your cities and mr. o'malley's state, and my state of california, and we have seen jobs created, over three million jobs. and we've seen all that good news that's beginning to now fill the newspapers. but i think, mr. silvers, you mentioned something to me right before we began this hearing that what we're seeing now in great britain whether it's due completely or not to their fiscal austerity is a contraction of the size of the british economy. so they're actually shrinking and may face a return to their recession. can you give us some comments about what we're seeing today in great britain?
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>> mr. becerra, as you note, the new british government that came into office this fall and the british parliamentary system moved very swiftly to enact broad cuts in both the sorts of public spending the mayor was referring to that help people through economic crises and broad public spending in areas of public investment that this panel has been addressing. the immediate aftermath of that was that the british economy, which like our economy was recovering at a modest sort of halting pace, slipped back into economic contraction in the last quarter of this year. and now the -- >> by the way, we grew at about 3.2% in the last quarter of last year. >> and now the british government is under great pressure to reconsider the direction of it policies. the british experience in the last few months is not the first time we've seen this kind of mistake, mistaken policy response to an economic crisis.
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the japanese experience in the 1990s was one in which every time the japanese economy after going through a financial crisis similar to the one we went through, every time the japanese economy got a little momentum, advocates of fiscal austerity stepped on the brake. the result was the japanese economy for ten years had effectively no growth, and it's pretty much, i think, completely accepted now it was that impulse to crush the life out of the economy through fiscal austerity together with some issues with the japanese banking system -- we still have our issues with our banking system -- that produced that outcome. the united states has effectively had a lost decade already during the bush years that you referred to. we cannot afford a second. >> well, respecting your time and my colleagues' time, i will yield back after just one quick closing comment to say that as you all spoke, i couldn't help but hi back to my own -- think back to my own personal
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experience because my father was a construction worker for over 25 years in california. if it was bad weather, he couldn't build roads, he couldn't dig the trenches for those large pipes to carry whether it's water or sewer needs and so forth. and so he was dependent on weather. in the '50s, '60s and '70s, he didn't worry about the government saying we can't fund this necessary project. fortunately, we had a governor by the name of pat brown in california who build the best university system, the best transportation system in america. and i know that this person right here standing before you today because my father got to work, work in construction and made a decent living. and so i suspect there are millions of americans today who are looking at america wondering will we invest in ourselves so i can get back to work? so we thank you for everything you're doing to try to make it clear to the policymakers and
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leaders of this country that we must make an america we invest in ourselves. so thank you for your testimony, i yield back. >> ms. edwards? >> thank you all again for your testimony. i heard something that was actually really disturbing as we've gone through today starting with governor o'malley, and each of you has pointed to the need to reauthorize our surface be -- surface transportation act, faa authorization, water resources development act. i'm on the transportation committee, and i think part of what we've heard from the republican majority is that we can do these things in one-year snippets and, you know, so we'll make a decision this year about the kind of investment we need to make in transportation and infrastructure, and then we'll come to next year and make another decision. and i wonder as a mayor, mayor nutter and dr. buechner, if you could actually speak to the problem that that presents to our municipalities and to our states and to the private sector
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in terms of planning for the long term when with it comes to new starts, when it comes to these big projects like the bridge projects where you need to know whether there's a federal commitment or not or it doesn't get put on the table. and i think it might cause some in the republican majority to actually rethink this idea of funding transportation and infrastructure in snippets at a time when our competitors are not doing that at all. >> very briefly, no one has ever financed the construction of the first two floors of a 20-floor building. you're either building the building, or you're not. all 20 floors. you get your financing lined up, and this is what we're going to do. i have a annual capital budget, and i have a six-year plan. so i know six years down the line what we're doing, what we're planning to do at least, and you run the city that way. so you know that this project that you can't do this year but you're going to put some money
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aside for it this year and you're going to put some money aside for it next year, and then that third year you know you're getting started. i mean, that's the way you run a place. we need the same thing from the federal government. no one makes long-term plans with short-term money. so, i mean, it's, i mean, it's kind of common sense. if we know that the funding is coming down the line and it's going to be, you know, three years, five years, whatever the number is, you can really start to make bigger plans, and, you know, better planning makes better cites is what it really kind of comes down to. this every year hat in hand let's run over there, who's the chair, who's the vice chair, who likes who, i mean, it makes no sense. it really, really doesn't. and it gets in the way of good decision making. >> i don't know if there's anything more i could add to this. when you fund the highway investment in short-term extensions and continuing resolutions, it just disrupts
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the planning process that the state -- at the state dot level and also for private contractors who are making plans about hiring people, about buying equipment and things like that. they have no idea what's coming down the pike, particularly now when we don't know what kind of program will be finalized for fy-2011 or 2012. we're just wasting a great opportunity to move forward. thank you. >> thank you. and, madam leader and madam co-chair -- >> [inaudible] >> can i just add a little bit to that? our bridge projects generally take two, three, five years for the construction phase. it's awful hard to plan if you only have funding for one year. >> thank you all very much because i hope that republican and democratic governors across the country and our mayors understand that the republican majority has an interest in only giving us an idea of what to do
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a year in advance at a time when our competitors in europe and in china are making investments now for the next decade. we have a majority not only that is going to cut back on the money, but isn't even going to let us know what we can plan for for the future, and with that i yield. >> i will ask the other members of the panel to ask a e question. mr. richmond, why don't you. >> i would direct my question to ms. monteverde. when we're talking about ports, and i represent a large section of louisiana with a number of ports, and we have an ongoing fight with the corps of engineers in terms of the draft that we're going to dredge to. how does that effect the long-term planning of shipping companies and people who who are planning year out what vessels they're sending and the number that they're sending if they're not sure of the depth of the waterways leading up to our
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american ports? >> as i mentioned in my testimony, the biggest problem we have is we have a system where port users have already paid several years ago, decades ago actually, we had a system where we said the federal taxpayers do not want to pay for maintenance dredging, so the shippers already pay. and they don't understand i, we already paid. why aren't you doing maintenance dredging? and the reason is we haven't made dredging, it's not a sexy issue. we haven't made it a priority, and we need to because it's essential to our agricultural products, especially through louisiana, the oil also coming in and out. it's a really critical issue, and we have to see it as a priority for this nation, and we've already paid for it. we just have to have the political will to say we're going to take the tax dollars that we collected from the users, and we're going to use it for what we need. if we use the 1.5 billion that
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comes in every year, louisiana and all the other port needs will be taken care of. and we haven't really talked about the earmark question, but one of the reasons why you see a lot of earmarks is because we haven't fully used that fund. if we fully appropriate what comes in each year, no other tax dollars are being used. louisiana and other ports would not have a problem. but it is a problem for folks who are coming down the mississippi especially as we want to double exports, and that's the number one export port. how are we going to do this if we don't make dredging a priority in our budget? >> well, and then part of what we're doing here today and i want to thank my leadership again because what our leadership has determined is that they want to talk about the things that are keeping us from growing and not growing jobs. and one of the reasons that i i was probably invited here was to talk about the impact of one or two feet of dredging to this
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economy. and creating jobs. i know that what we face with the rivers that 60% of all exports in terms of grain and most of our agricultural products come through mississippi -- come flu the mouth of the mississippi -- through the mouth of the mississippi live. if we with lose those because we're putting our businesses and our farmers and our growers and our producers at a competitive disadvantage and they start going to brazil or other places, will we get them back when we decide to start dredging at appropriate level? >> that's a great question, and it's a little scary. not only do we losing a churl jobs -- agricultural jobs, we also could lose a lot of maritime jobs that could go to canada. if it's quicker to go up through the great lakes or put it on a rail line and take it up through canada and ship out through canadian ports, we lose all those jobs in the maritime industry. and as you know in your district, maritime jobs are very important
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important. maritime industry is one of the key ones, so we really have to make this a priority. businesses don't just have the one-year plan, they're looking for the quickest and cheapest and most reliable way to get their products out to, to export. >> and, madam leader, my last question would be to mr. silvers. you probably have the expertise and some knowledge with friends at the ila and so forth. one of the reasons why i'm such a port proponent in a large urban city is the fact that our education system k-12 through this country has not been what it should have been over the last couple of years or decades. but the ports allow people who want to wake up, go work hard during the day, it gives them the ability to support their families and learn a trade while they're doing it. and, mr. mayor, maybe you see part of that in the effect of decreasing crime in your city.
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but the importance of ports in our cities and the ability to put people to work who without having to teach them a new skill because they can learn on the job, and either one of you can answer that in terms of what you see as the mayor of the city or, mr. silvers, as a leader of one of our labor unions. but just the importance of the fact that it's people who can just wake up, go to work and they make a middle class wage. >> well, the best anti-crime tool is a job, there's no question about that. and it's one of the reasons, again, when i mentioned the south port project, and we work with the ila in philadelphia, these are great jobs with a great wage, and you can take care of yourself and your family with these jobs. and if you have not gone maybe as far as you'd like from an educational standpoint, you can still work, and we'd like to encourage folks, you worked hard that day, and we still want you
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to go to school at night or on the weekends and get up through a college degree. >> i would only add to this that the ports both on the east coast and the west coast are an example both of a path to middle class employment for folks who, as you say, may not have started off with deep educational skills, but they also, they're also a place where with labor and management on both coasts have come together to collaborate in upscaling those jobs so that if you go to an ila or an ilw and ask people what do you do, it's not the port of the 1950s where they're unloading bales with a hook. they're managing very complex information systems and capital-intensive machinery. and the, so the -- it's a ladder
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not only to a good income, but a high skill level. i would like to take a moment, though, to expand on something that ms. month -- monteverde said about ports because it has broader implication to the discussion. the kinds of jobs that we're talking about here today, if you don't do them, whole supply chains collapse or never come to be. ms. monteverde talked about the agricultural supply chain associated with the port of new orleans. the one that particularly obsesses me is high-speed rail. we have -- when the afl-cio started really talking about these issues four our five years ago -- four or five years ago, it was a plausible thing to say that the united states could lead in high-speed rail because no one else had stepped up to the plate. today one of the saddest commentaries about this subject is thanks to president obama's efforts we now have some kind of planning process, and we didn't
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have anything, really, prior to the recovery act. unfortunately, that sounds good until you understand that china has 5,000 miles that are under construction and that, in fact, when i cited this statistic recently, someone who had been recently back from china said actually the number's closer to 10,000. the consequences that china now has scale in the entire manufacturing chain associated with high-speed rail and so that when the planning on high-speed rail is going on mr. becerra's state, and they're saying, well, who has project management skills and who has the supply chain, it turns out that it's all chinese firms. now, that would be bad enough if it weren't for the fact that the efforts we are making are being hindered by a few newly-elected governors who think maybe it's not a good idea to run high-speed rail through your states. now, imagine if somebody -- mayor mentioned route 95.


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