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Caucus Chairman Emanuel Calls for Reinvesting in America

Posted on by Jesse Lee

From Rep. Rahm Emanuel’s (IL-05) office:

Emanuel Calls for Reinvesting in America
After $40 Billion to Rebuild Iraq; It's time to Reinvest in America

CHICAGO, IL — With the war in Iraq on the front pages and at the front of Americans' minds, and as bad news about the economy continues to mount, Chicagoans are feeling the negative impact of President Bush's economic policies. Americans are looking for work, millions have lost their homes due to the housing crisis and gas prices have hit an all time high. Today, U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) held a press conference in downtown Chicago to highlight this Congress's plan to take American families in a new direction. After spending more than $40 billion to rebuild Iraq, Emanuel believes that investment in America's infrastructure, education, and economy are long overdue.

“After spending more than $40 billion to rebuild Iraq,” said Emanuel. “It's time to invest in America again and rehabilitate our nation's ailing roads, bridges and critical infrastructure.”

Emanuel critiqued the Bush Administration's priorities, pointing out that we have spent $44.8 billion rebuilding Iraq and while the Iraqi government is running a budget surplus, here at home we are $3.8 trillion dollars in debt.

“President Kennedy once said, 'to govern is to choose' — and it's time to choose American investment — it's time to start investing in Chicago again,” said Emanuel. “It's time to rebuild our roads, bridges and schools. And it's time to help give workers looking for a job and families struggling to hold on to their homes the tools they need to succeed.”

Emanuel released the following chart comparing our investment in Iraq to the needs at home. For example, in Iraq, the United States has refurbished 20 hospitals, built 80 new clinics and 60 more are planned. And for 29 days of spending in Iraq, we could fully fund the Children's Health Care program (SCHIP) or for two days in Iraq, we could build a new hospital emergency room here in Chicago. In Iraq, President Bush has rehabilitated 6,700 schools and retrained 60,000 teachers. In America, President Bush wants to cut programs that improve teacher training by $100 million. Meanwhile, $350 million dollars, or roughly one day in Iraq, could make up the Chicago Public School's deficit. In Iraq, we've built five airports and ninety-six rail stations; while here in Chicago, with a fraction of that investment, the U.S. could fund the CTA and METRA's shortfalls and finish the deep tunnel.

Emanuel believes it is time to invest in America again and rehabilitate our nation's ailing roads, bridges and critical infrastructure. In Congress, Emanuel and the Democratic leadership have offered ideas that would lower health care costs and increase health care quality; lower energy prices, create hundreds of thousands of new “green” jobs, provide incentives for clean, renewable energy and fight potential energy price gouging and price fixing by OPEC; bolster the housing market and help Americans keep their homes–and keep value in their homes; make college more affordable and K-12 classrooms more successful; empower American ingenuity and give businesses the tools to win in a global economy; rebuild and modernize our nation's roads, bridges, levees, and energy grid, and extend high-speed Internet communications to create jobs across America; create tax fairness, with no call to make permanent tax cuts for the richest Americans; help restore confidence in consumer goods; and reduce the deficit and restore fiscal responsibility to enable our nation to meet future challenges.

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