Obama ups pressure on Congress over transportation

By REUTERS
September 3, 2011 13:09

 
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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama, under fire over high US unemployment, stepped up pressure on Congress on Saturday to pass transportation legislation he said would protect almost 1 million American jobs.

"Allowing this bill to expire would be a disaster for our infrastructure and our economy," the president said in his weekly radio address, after a monthly employment report showed the economy created no jobs in August.

Obama, who delivers a major speech on Thursday on how he would boost hiring and growth, must bring down a jobless rate stuck at 9.1 percent to improve his chances of winning a second presidential term next year.

Repeating a message he issued in the White House Rose Garden earlier this week, Obama urged lawmakers to pass multibillion-dollar temporary funding bills for aviation and highway projects, or risk heaping more pain on the economy.

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