Despite their recent exclamations of support for improving American infrastructure, House Republicans circulated a memo this weekend informing members that the caucus would oppose the majority of President Obama’s jobs plan, particularly the proposed infrastructure bank that would make large investments into the nation’s crumbling roads, bridges, and other forms of infrastructure.
In the memo, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) laid out opposition to Obama’s proposed $30 billion to keep teachers and law enforcement officers in their jobs, rejected money for school construction, and again claimed Republicans supported spending on infrastructure. But Boehner wrote that the GOP opposed the way Obama’s plan would make those investments, as Republicans continue to base their opposition to new stimulus plans on the misguided, false belief that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act didn’t work, as The Hill reported:
“Rather than adding more money to a broken system,” Boehner and his deputies wrote, “Congress and the president should spend the next few months working out a multi-year transportation authorization bill that fixes these problems.”
Despite those claims, there is little evidence that Republicans actually support spending the money necessary to bring the nation’s infrastructure up to date. In fact, this is the third major infrastructure investment plan Republicans have opposed since Obama took office in 2009, after it lobbied to reduce the amount of infrastructure-centered spending in the Recovery Act and derailed Democrats’ infrastructure spending plan in 2010.
As ThinkProgress reported last week, roads and bridges in the states and districts represented by GOP leadership are rated “structurally deficient” or “fundamentally obsolete” at rates that outpace the national average. Even knowing that, Republicans continue to make their priorities clear when it comes to creating jobs by fixing America’s infrastructure, as they have again chosen to do nothing while millions of American workers remain unemployed and ready to work on the roads and bridges that are crumbling around them.
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