Bennet, in tough Colo. Senate race, opposes Obama's infrastructure plan
By Paul Kane
In the latest blow to President Obama's proposed $50 billion infrastructure stimulus plan, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a close White House ally, announced his opposition to any new spending to try to jump start job creation.
Bennet, who won a narrow Democratic primary last month in part because of Obama's overt support, said he would support the expansion of research-and-development credits for businesses, along with tax credits for clean energy and new capital purchases by companies.
But new spending on highways, railways and airports, done through a so-called infrastructure bank, would be too much spending for Bennet. He faces a tough general election against Republican Ken Buck, who has made goverment spending a hallmark of his conservative campiagn.
"I will not support additional spending in a second stimulus package. Any new transportation initiatives can be funded through the Recovery Act, which still contains unused funds," Bennet said. "Public-private partnerships that improve our infrastructure are a good idea, but must be paid for, should not add a dime to the deficit, and should be covered by unused Recovery Act dollars. We must make hard choices to significantly reduce the deficit."
Republicans have largely rejected the new spending, suggesting that the $814 billion "Recovery Act" has not provided the stimulative jolt to private-sector hiring that it was billed to do. "We've sort of been there, done that," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday in an interview.
With endangered Democrats such as Bennet backing away from the infrastructure proposal, its already long chances of passage have grown a bit more problematic.
September 8, 2010; 12:10 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency
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