At a hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Representative Albio Sires urged support for federal investment in public infrastructure to "strengthen our infrastructure, create more jobs, and bolster our economy."
"Infrastructure investments are critical to improving our economy," Representative Sires said. He noted the explosion of economic growth and development in Hudson County that was spurred by investment in the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail. "With additional investments in our infrastructure, we can slow the increasing unemployment rates in New Jersey and repair our deteriorating infrastructure."
At the hearing, Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) chairman of the committee praised New Jersey's investment in transit as a "template for America." Responding to Representative Sires and other members of the Committee, Governor Jon S. Corzine also testified to the importance of infrastructure investment in stimulating our economy. "We need a substantial and timely stimulus package to include infrastructure investments as a critical element of any Federal effort." He also added, "that [infrastructure] investments will create jobs, improve safety, reduce congestion and improve long run national productivity." Though there is currently no scheduled vote on a second stimulus package, Representative Sires is pushing for Congress to increase investment in infrastructure and the renewable energy sector, help local governments to preserve crucial services like health care and education, and extend unemployment benefits to hardworking New Jersyans.