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Obama, with support from Villaraigosa, pushes for more transit funding

October 11, 2010 |  3:08 pm

President Obama

President Obama, with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on hand, made a new pitch for his $50-billion "roads, railways and runways" program Monday morning, saying the need to upgrade the nation's infrastructure capacity is critical and that American competitiveness in the 21st century depends on swift action.

Clogged roads, airways and other infrastructure chip away at worker productivity, Obama said, and the longer the country waits to fix it, "the deeper our competitive edge erodes."

Speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden, Obama pitched the plan almost entirely in terms of its benefit to the economy -- though he also alluded to the politics of the moment, noting the steadfast Republican opposition to most of his current plans.

Read the full story here.

-- Christi Parsons in Washington

Photo: President Obama speaks, flanked by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the Rose Garden at the White House. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images / Oct. 11, 2010)