Obama: 'If There's Money in the Pipeline, We Want to Get It Out Faster'

November 3, 2011 - 6:57 AM

Obama Jobs

President Barack Obama speaks about jobs, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, at Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington. Obama is urging Congress to pass the infrastructure piece of the American Jobs Act. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(CNSNews.com) - On the same day a House panel heard about failures with the Obama administration's stimulus spending, President Obama on Wednesday announced another push to spend taxpayer money as quickly as possible.

Standing just a few miles from the White House -- near the Key Bridge, which connects the Georgetown waterfront with Virginia -- Obama said it "makes absolutely no sense" for construction workers to be out of a job "when there's so much work to be done" repairing the nation's roads, bridges and runways.

"We can’t wait for Congress to do its job," Obama said. "If they won’t act, I will. And that’s why today, I’m announcing that we are actually going to expedite loans and competitive grants for new projects all across the country that will create thousands of new jobs for (construction) workers like these.

"If there’s money already in the pipeline, we want to get it out faster," Obama said. "And this comes on the heels of our recent efforts to cut red tape and launch several existing projects faster and more efficiently."

As CNSNews.com reported on Wednesday, inspector generals with the Departments of Energy and Labor told a House panel that billions of dollars in stimulus funding given to the agencies to create green jobs have failed to achieve that goal.

That's because few “shovel ready” jobs existed when the stimulus bill was passed, nor were the infrastructure or personnel in place at the state and local levels to get stimulus projects going.

Although Obama continued his “can’t wait for Congress” theme on Wednesday, he also mentioned that Congress this week "has another chance" to pass a piece of his jobs bill that the Democrat-led Senate rejected last month.

"They already voted once against this thing," Obama said, expressing the hope that on Thursday, the Senate will approve the infrastructure portion of the bill. Obama said the bill “will help private sector companies put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our airports, our bridges and our transit systems."

Obama promised there will be "no more earmarks" and "no more bridges to nowhere." In fact, he insisted, politics doesn't enter into it: "We’re going to stop the picking of projects based on political gain, and start picking them based on two criteria: how badly they’re needed out there, and how much good they’ll do for our economy."

Republicans have complained that much of what Obama is doing lately -- including his many trips across the country -- are for political gain. In fact, one of the criticisms of his jobs bill has been that it favors teachers, police officers, firefighters and construction workers -- many of them union members. Unions have been among Obama's strongest political supporters.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has described Obama’s jobs bill as a second stimulus, asking why anyone would vote for another stimulus when the first one was such a “legislative and economic catastrophe.”