The work we do in government cannot be done without our partners. Whether we're investing in safety, road repair, or regional transit solutions, the team using those funds must be responsible and innovative to ensure we get the most bang for our buck. And when those funds are designed to help stimulate a flagging economy--as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act intended--getting the most from our investments is even more critical.
Throughout our ARRA grant making activity, DOT has been very fortunate to have the kind of capable partners these important investments demanded. And I'm pleased that, yesterday, the White House honored several of them as Champions of Change.
These leaders are creating jobs in their communities and using innovative techniques to develop valuable projects to improve America’s infrastructure, build roads and bridges, expand high-speed broadband, provide clean water and energy, and much more.
With the assistance of grants and loans from the Obama Administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the transportation leaders I met yesterday have delivered tremendous benefits to their communities:
Each of them has written on whitehouse.gov about the changes they worked so hard to achieve, and I encourage you to read about their terrific projects. The challenge will be figuring out where to jump in.
Now, as much as we need good partners to get the biggest bang for our buck, without the Obama Administration's ARRA investments, there wouldn't have been any bang at all.
The budget the President proposed this week will ensure that federal investments in transportation continue in a predictable way for the next six years. The certainty offered by a long-term bill is precisely what America's transportation leaders--like the Champions of Change I met yesterday--need to plan confidently for tomorrow's infrastructure and begin putting our friends and neighbors back to work today.
Ray LaHood is the US Secretary of Transportation.