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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

U.S. needs long-term infrastructure investment for economic growth, Geithner says


The United States needs to invest in a long-term surface transportation plan and not just “limp along” with temporary extensions to SAFETEA-LU, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said yesterday in a speech at the Economic Club of Chicago.

In outlining the U.S. economy’s current challenges, Geithner described the government action that is necessary to “help speed the recovery and repair the remaining damage from the [financial] crisis,” he said in his prepared remarks.

Such necessary steps include short- and long-term investments in areas such as education, innovation and infrastructure.

“To make us more competitive, we have to be willing to make larger long-term investments in infrastructure,” he said. “Cutting government investments in education and infrastructure and basic science is not a growth strategy.”

Geithner’s comments came about a week after President Obama signed off on the ninth extension to SAFETEA-LU, which expired in 2009. House Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said that when Congress returns after a current break, he intends for members to consider its version of a long-term surface transportation legislation. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are calling on House members to vote on the Senate’s two-year, $109 billion surface transportation plan known as MAP-21.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/5/2012