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Stimulus funds should target high unemployment areas and create jobs more quickly, Mica says

Stimulus dollars aren’t flowing into areas with the highest unemployment and are flowing too slowly overall, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) recently said at a hearing held in Washington, D.C., on stimulus spending.

“Job losses in the 10 states with the worst unemployment, by and large, are higher than they were in May. Ironically, of those 10 states, South Carolina has seen the least amount of infrastructure stimulus money spent, but has experienced a slight decrease in unemployment,” said Mica, the Republican leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “We may need to better target investment to areas with the worst unemployment to help spur much-needed job growth.”

In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) needs to reduce the amount of red tape that’s slowing the funding-to-project-start process, said Mica. Of the $48 billion in transportation stimulus funds available, the USDOT so far has paid out only $3.4 billion, or 7 percent of the total, he said.

“Cutting the length of time to get a project under way will create more jobs more quickly, and allow us to invest now in more significant projects,” said Mica.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/2/2009