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Oberstar: 'Administration needs aggressive transportation plan'

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Rep. Oberstar
U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-Minn.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Minnesota DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar says the economic stimulus bill is living up to its promise of creating and saving jobs. 

Oberstar cited MnDOT statistics that show stimulus money has already created or saved more than 2,100 jobs in Minnesota. 

Oberstar used an economic stimulus news conference at the state capitol Wednesday afternoon to promote an aggressive, six-year $450 billion transportation plan. 

Oberstar pledged to quote "roll over" the Obama administration if it opposes the transportation bill. 

"It is disappointing that after eight years of a Bush administration that said no to robust investment in transportation now the Democratic administration says 'well not now ... 18 months," Oberstar said. "The nation doesn't have 18 months for a head start program in transportation for the planners at the White House. People need jobs now."

Oberstar says lawmakers and the Obama administration need to look beyond stimulus construction money to create an aggressive transportation plan. 

"We've reported our six-year bill out of subcommittee and the week when we come back after Labor Day we'll report it from full committee," he said. "I expect to have it on the floor by the third week of September; $450 billion over the next six years and the administration's either going to come along or we're going to roll them over."