Politics of tragedy

Updated
 

Earlier on Wednesday – a few hours before the 35W bridge in Minnesota collapsed – Senators Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Chuck Hagel R-Neb.) introduced legislation to fix America’s road, bridges, water, and transit systems.  According to the senators, the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007 would help revitalize America’s infrastructure. 

“The 21st century holds great promise for our nation.  But you can’t journey to a brighter tomorrow by relying on yesterday’s infrastructure,” said Dodd when he announced the bill.

Both senators were on Hardball Thursday in light of the recent tragedy.

“Look, this administration has convinced us to spend 500 billion dollars in Iraq,” said  Sen. Dodd, who is running for president. “We should have been doing this [focusing on infrastructure] for a long time.  We have been told year in and year out about this problems growing every single year.”

Some key components of the bill include: $21 billion required to be spent annually for the next 20 years to address problems with our transit systems; and $131 billion to be spent annually for things like bridge and road repair.

“We have the capacity to do it,” said Sen. Hagel. “We have the greatest economy, system, nation, people in the world.  There is no challenge this country has ever failed at meeting.” (Rumors continue that Hagel may run for president as well).

The effort would be good for the economy as well: “For every one billion dollars we spend on infrastructure repair or maintenance, 40,000 to 50,000 jobs are created by that effort,” says Sen. Dodd.

Watch video here.

Politics of tragedy

Updated