Monday, March 7, 2011

Pelosi Slams GOP Cuts, Calls for Investment In Ports

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi returned to San Francisco over the weekend, taking the opportunity to blast proposed Congressional GOP cuts in infrastructure investment and saying that the federal government needs to increase investment in the nation's ports.

Speaking at a press conference at Pier 70 in San Francisco, Pelosi used the backdrop of the one of the nation's largest floating drydocks to emphasize her point.

Officials from the drydock owner, BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair, said that the lack of dredging near the repair facility has limited the work the yard could take.

Pelosi said that investing in projects like dredging harbors is a missed opportunity "for commerce and jobs."

"Unless we invest in infrastructure, dredging, etc., we're missing the boat. We are missing the boat, literally and figuratively, on what we can do," Pelosi said.

Pelosi's visit comes only days after the latest Department of Labor figures showed that the economy added 192,000 jobs in February and the national unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent. It was the 12th consecutive month of private sector job growth. Despite the positive nationwide jobs numbers, California continues to lag behind any recovery with 12.4 percent unemployment.

“Congressional Republicans would take our economy in the wrong direction by passing an irresponsible ‘So Be It’ spending bill that destroys jobs, weakens our middle class, and cuts investments in education critical to our economic future," Pelosi said in a statement following the release of the jobs report.

She reiterated similar charges at the port press event saying that Congressional Republicans want to cut federal spending and roll back federal regulations in the hope that the private sector will increase hiring and jobs creation.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and officials from the ports of Oakland and San Francisco joined Pelosi at the event.