WASHINGTON, DC – Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), made the following statement following President Obama’s State of the Union speech from last evening:
“In his State of the Union address, President Obama upped the ante in the debate about investing in our crumbling transportation system and infrastructure. Not since President Eisenhower’s commitment to building a national interstate highway system has a President told the nation – as President Obama declared last night – that rebuilding America lies at the core of ‘winning the future.’
“President Obama is in complete agreement with transportation labor in saying that America can no longer afford to fall behind China – with its ‘faster trains and newer airports’ – and the rest of the world in investing in the movement of people, goods and information. He said our infrastructure used to ‘be the best – but our lead has slipped.’ And he talked about the need to ‘redouble’ our efforts to use strategically significant investments to create good jobs. Needless to say, we agree.
“Last night’s speech wasn’t just another State of the Union address – it was a President committing to thinking big about America’s future and making our 21st Century transportation system and infrastructure the envy of the world again. The truth is that we will fail to meet the nation’s mounting transportation needs in this new decade by cutting the transportation budget to 2008 or lower levels, as some in Congress have proposed.”
“As Congress considers several long-overdue, multi-year transportation investment bills, we pledge our support to make the President’s vision to rebuild, expand and modernize our entire transportation system a reality.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.