US President Barack Obama Saturday urged voters to pressure Congress to pass a funding bill "for all sorts of transportation projects."
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president recounted his promotion this week of what the White House calls his all-of-the-above energy strategy -- "a strategy where we produce more oil and gas here at home, but also more biofuels and fuel-efficient cars; more solar power and wind power and other sources of clean, renewable energy."
"Under my administration, we're producing more oil than at any other time in the last eight years," he said. "We've quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. And we've added enough oil and gas pipeline to circle the entire Earth and then some."
Obama said, as he has said repeatedly for several weeks, the key to independence from foreign sources of fuel is to produce more biofuels, solar power and wind power, and to get "these clean energy industries" to locate in the United States.
"Now, getting these clean energy industries to locate here requires us to maintain a national commitment to new research and development," the president said. "But it also requires us to build world-class transportation and communications networks, so that any company can move goods and sell products all around the world as quickly and efficiently as possible."
However, he said, work on "crumbling roads and bridges," an outdated power grid and an "incomplete high-speed broadband network," cannot go forward until Congress passes a transportation funding bill.
"You see, in a matter of days, funding will stop for all sorts of transportation projects," Obama said. "Construction sites will go idle. Workers will have to go home. And our economy will take a hit.
"This Congress cannot let that happen."
The president urged listeners to pressure the House of Representatives to pass the bipartisan transportation funding bill the Senate has already passed.
"Now it's up to the House to follow suit; to put aside partisan posturing, end the gridlock, and do what's right for the American people," he said.