Jobsby Representative Donna F. Edwards
Posted on 2013-12-10
EDWARDS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from
California because every week you are here talking about what we can do
and what we should be doing to create jobs in this country.
Now, I have heard it said by some that there is nothing that the Congress can or should do to try to create jobs. Well, that is just a bunch of hooey. We know that the Federal Government, Mr. Speaker, has a lot of capacity to help spur private sector job creation, but we haven't done it in this Congress. We have had an opportunity, but we haven't done it in this Congress.
I thought as you put that quote up there by Franklin Roosevelt, when I think of all the memorials there are here in Washington, D.C.--and there are plenty of them, free to the public, paid by the taxpayers. One of my favorite is the FDR memorial, and the reason is because as you are walking through that memorial, you have there, in bronze, replicas of people standing in line: standing in line waiting for assistance, standing in line waiting for a job.
When President Franklin Roosevelt saw what was happening in this country, try to come out of that Great Depression, he didn't say, oh, well, there is nothing we can do. Now, it is true, he did have some Members of Congress who were fighting him every step of the way, who didn't want to do what it would take to wholesale the Federal Government all in, investing in the American public, investing in job training, investing in rebuilding this country. Franklin Roosevelt knew the difference, and he pushed for that so that all of those people standing in that line would have jobs. And that is what I see when I go to the memorial.
Now, if you take the trail along from the FDR memorial, you can walk along the pathway and it brings you to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial--another great man who stood at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, calling for us to put people to work for equality, right on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Each man, including Lincoln, in their time calling on the Congress: do the right thing. Well, now, Mr. Garamendi, it is our time. It is our time to invest in our infrastructure that by all accounts is crumbling. And you know what, we don't even need experts to see that our roads, our bridges, our railways are crumbling. We don't need those experts because we can see that for ourselves. I see it when I drive over some of our bridges in Maryland. I see it across our roads. I see the crumbling bridges.
Now we wait. When a bridge does in fact fall, potentially injuring or even killing people, and certainly killing the economy around it, oh, we are all in. The Congress is right there, injecting the Federal resources that it takes, but why do we have to wait until a bridge falls for the Congress to do the right thing to invest in our infrastructure, knowing that every investment of a billion dollars creates 35,000 new jobs in the economy? If we were doing what it would take just to keep up, we would be investing about $200 billion. Think of the millions of jobs we could create by making those investments.