New investment in infrastructure projects was critical to the U.S. competitiveness and economic future, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday, urging Congress to approve the administration's jobs act.
Geithner stressed that Congress should pass "common-sense proposals" in the American Jobs Act, which include investments in infrastructure that will help the nation create jobs, rebuild and modernize America, and grow the domestic manufacturing sector.
Geithner's remarks were the administration's latest pitch to win support from an uncooperative Congress to pass the massive jobs plan. The U.S. Senate is slated to take up several of the infrastructure provisions of the jobs package next week.
"Next week, Congress has a critical opportunity to move on measures in the American Jobs Act that will put construction workers on the job fixing our roads, rails, bridges, airports and public transportation," said Geithner when touring Corning Incorporated's fiber optics manufacturing facility in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Facing a sluggish economic growth and stubbornly high unemployment rate, U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled the jobs plan on Sept. 8, which includes measures like payroll tax cuts for employers and employees as well as new investment in infrastructure projects.
However, Republican Senators scuttled the jobs package on Oct. 11, and a portion of the bill, which provided 35 billion U.S. dollars to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters, failed to advance in the Senate on Oct. 20.
The White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that the Obama administration was poised to take a list of executive branch moves to bypass the Congress obstruction to boost the weak economy, including helping more distressed homeowners refinance their loans and helping students manage their loan debt.