Secretary Anthony Foxx
Introduction of President Obama
St. Paul, Minnesota • February 26, 2014
Remarks as prepared for delivery
Hello, St. Paul.
It’s great to be with you this afternoon – and it’s a privilege to warm up the stage for our President, Barack Obama!
This is a beautiful building – and one more reason that St. Paul is such a unique city.
And we're here today to celebrate the transportation vision you have and a program that helped make it possible - TIGER.
Your vision is unique, and together, we have helped you to realize it. As we travel around our great nation, it is clear that so many communities like St. Paul also have a vision.
I can also tell you that a big portion of our national to-do list remains unfunded.
Five years ago, this depot would have been on your list and would likely have stayed on that list for years. Like thousands of projects nationwide, it would have sat there collecting dust and becoming even more expensive every year we waited.
Part of the reason for this is that projects at the local level have traditionally been really hard to secure funding for.
At least, that’s the way it used to be until five years ago.
Because five years ago, the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which set aside the first $1.5 billion dollars for a program that would fund some of the country’s worthiest transportation projects.
We called it TIGER.
And what it has done is nothing short of game-changing:
TIGER has enabled communities to dream again. To help make projects happen – projects that would have been difficult if not impossible otherwise.
In Los Angeles, for example, the port there needed some train tracks laid down so they could transport goods quicker from the ships to the stores. TIGER made that happen.
Near where I’m from in North Carolina, there was a bridge on the I-85 corridor, which carried a tremendous amount of freight – but it was considered the worst bridge in the whole state. And TIGER provided the funding to get it repaired.
And that’s to say nothing of the building that we’re gathered in right now. Because TIGER played a big role in restoring this depot, too.
For five years, we’ve seen TIGER investments like these translate into more jobs, better economies, a higher quality of life.
There will be a sixth round of TIGER this year, and I want to give a shout-out to members of Congress like Senator Patty Murray for their bipartisanship and their courage.
And you should also thank the builders of projects like this one for proving TIGER can work – and that it can create jobs.
But most of all, you should put your hands together for the man who’s about to get behind this podium.
Because when he steps up here, we’re all about to take another step towards a faster, safer, stronger America.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my privilege to introduce the President of the United States.
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