Statement of United Brotherhood of Carpenters General President Douglas J. McCarron in Response to President Obama’s American Jobs Act
The proposals outlined by President Obama in his American Jobs Act deserve bipartisan support as our nation struggles with an unemployment crisis unlike any seen in generations.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is heartened by the president’s focus on modernizing our schools and improving the country’s highways, transit, rail, and aviation systems. Our union has long advocated sensible infrastructure investment as a means to put people to work today and make American business more competitive in the decades ahead.
For far too long, political games have taken priority in Washington over prudent measures to help our nation cope with chronic joblessness and a stagnant economy. This must end, and a good first step would be for lawmakers of both parties to embrace President Obama’s call for $105 billion in needed infrastructure investment, including an immediate $50 billion upgrade of our nation’s outdated transportation system.
With unemployment in the construction industry hovering near 15 percent, there has never been a more urgent need for action. For each $1 billion spent on infrastructure projects, 40,000 much-needed jobs are created.
The president was right when he said, “Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower.” That lesson has sadly been lost on too many in Washington, as evidenced by our clogged highways, deteriorating bridges, overburdened airports, and outdated rail system.
We can no longer afford to put off these types of projects. A recent study from the American Society of Civil Engineers warns that continued neglect of these investments will cost almost 1 million jobs and depress the economy by nearly $1 trillion over the next decade.
Our union of nearly a half-million men and women stands ready to put our skilled hands to work at the task of rebuilding our nation and to support elected officials who recognize the importance of this moment and are prepared to act. We urge Congress to move swiftly to implement this vital jobs legislation.