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Obama to Call for $50 Billion Spending on Public Works

By Sheryl Gay Stolberg | NYTimes

WASHINGTON – President Obama on Monday is to call for as much as $50 billion in government spending to start up a long-term public works plan emphasizing transportation projects – roads, rail and airport runways – over the next six years.

Mr. Obama will lay out the plan, which is intended to promote the quick creation of construction jobs but would require Congressional approval, during a trip to Milwaukee on Monday afternoon, where he will observe Labor Day by attending a union festival. The spending is one part of a broader economic recovery package that Mr. Obama is to unveil during a speech in Cleveland on Wednesday.

With Democrats looking at a bleak election season, in large part because of high unemployment, the White House has been scrambling to find ways to jump-start the sagging economy.

While Mr. Obama’s plan would call for investment over six years, the White House says it would be front-loaded with an initial investment of $50 billion in taxpayer money, to help create jobs in the shorter term. The administration says it would work with Congress to find ways to pay for the plan, so that it would not add to the nation’s rising deficit. One possibility would be to cut existing subsidies for oil and gas exploration and production.

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