Ellison likes Obama’s commitment to infrastructure

WASHINGTON – DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is praising President Obama for committing to spend billions on public works projects like roads, bridges and energy projects.

“This is the thing that is going to help power our economy into the future,” Ellison said.

President Obama is expected to announce a plan tonight to “outbuild” other nations. Obama is expected to cast a message that shows that the investment is the best way to keep the nation competitive with the rest of the world.

“We have a big debate as to what’s spending and what’s investment,” Ellison said. “I think when you have over $1 trillion in crumbling infrastructure then that’s clearly got to be investment in maintaining it.”

Ellison, who has called for higher taxes to help address the federal budget deficit said targeting the funding goes beyond building roads and bridges. He said a project that moves the power created from the windmills in western Minnesota to the population centers on the eastern side of the state is a good example.

But these projects could be met with a skeptical GOP majority in the U.S. House. All four GOP members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation have called for spending cuts to curb the federal deficit not increase it.

For example, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s office released excerpts from her rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union. In the remarks, Bachmann criticized President Obama for federal spending on the health care law and the stimulus. She said the GOP would oppose efforts to spend more.

“Last November many of you went to the polls and voted out big-spending politicians and you put in their place men and women who have come to Washington with a commitment to follow the Constitution and cut the size of government. And I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn here in the House of Representatives…”

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