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REP. ALBIO SIRES (D-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding this very important meeting. I would also like to thank you for coming to the District. I think you and I saw a prime example of investing in our infrastructure, all the jobs that were created, all the development around the areas, and they're all good, permanent, good-paying jobs. So I just want to thank you for coming to the District.
REP. OBERSTAR: I'm glad that there's still work for the gentleman to do after Chairman Jim Howard and Chairman Bob Roe (sp) presided over this committee for many years. I didn't think there was anything left to pave in New Jersey after they had been -- (laughter) -- but there clearly is work yet to be done.
REP. SIRES: We're working on it.
REP. OBERSTAR: You're here to do it.
REP. SIRES: (Laughs.) Again, thank you.
And I have the honor today of introducing our great governor from the state of New Jersey. As a former CEO of Goldman and Sachs and a former member of the United States Banking Committee -- the United States Senate Banking Committee, your testimony is especially relevant to the current economic issues that we are facing. Governor, I'm very interested in your experience in trying to get financing for some of the projects that we need in New Jersey. I know that you have been working very, very hard, so if you could address that, as you address the committee, that would be very helpful to us.
You know, New Jersey has been hard hit by the trouble in the financial market, and the rise in the unemployment rate is a cause for concern. At the same time, New Jersey is proud of its very transportation infrastructure systems. Enhancement of these systems will create thousands of good-paying jobs and benefit the entire state. I am pleased to have come Governor Corzine testify today. His unique perspective of both the economic and the transportation would surely -- will guide the committee through our work in putting together a good stimulus package.
Governor, I know what you have inherited. I know what you're going through. I was part of that New Jersey process, so it is with a great deal of pleasure that I introduce the great governor of the state o f New Jersey, Governor Corzine.
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REP. ALBIO SIRES (D-NJ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I also, like governor, as you know they just reutilized the Emergency Management Services between New York and New Jersey also. So it's a great example for the rest of America.
Governor, our unemployment is rising across the country, and New Jersey, for example, I know that you mentioned before that it went from 4.2 to 5.8. Knowing your efforts in the last few months and investment that New Jersey has made, how would the stimulus package add to dispout (ph) this rising unemployment, and how many jobs do you anticipate this will impact? I know that working on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail extension, there are approximately 20,000 jobs that are there. But for the rest of the state, how is that impacted -- (crosstalk)?