Last night, I had the privilege of sitting in the well of the House of Representatives and listening to President Obama deliver his State of the Union address to the nation.
Depending on the channel you were watching, you may have even seen me applauding when the President struck the theme of opportunity--and applauding extra hard when he later talked about the opportunities created by transportation. The road to opportunity can take many forms as the President told us; it can be quality pre-school for young children, or it can be access to health care for those with pre-conditions.
But, as President Obama also reminded us last night, sometimes the road to opportunity can literally be a road. Or, for that matter, it can be a transit system that connects a community to new jobs or a port that helps businesses sell to more markets. All of these types of transportation can be what the President calls "ladders of opportunity," ways for all Americans to connect to a better quality of life.
That's why, at the Department of Transportation, we're committed to doing what the President called for: cutting red tape and speeding permitting, too, so we can build these ladders more quickly and affordably.
But we also know taking on these kinds of projects requires new funding. And I was especially glad to hear the President call on Congress to finish a much-needed transportation bill this summer, and his proposal to fund that bill through corporate tax reform can and should be done on a bipartisan basis.
As his speech last night shows, President Obama is committed to growing the economy, strengthening the middle class and empowering all those hoping to join it. Our entire Department is standing with him in that effort.
And every time I stood up to applaud him last night, so was I.