The Ed Show | September 20, 2011
>>> in my playbook tonight, president obama is fighting for his jobs plan on the republican leaders' home turf. on thursday, the president will visit the brent spence bridge which carries a major trucking route across the ohio river . 4% gross domestic product in this country goes across that bridge . and it is, my friends, in need of dire repair. one end of the bridge is in senate minority leader district mitch mcconnell , his home state of kentucky. the other end is in cincinnati, a few miles outside john boehner 's ohio district , the speaker. the almost 50-year-old bridge is in such bad shape, the president has called it functionally obsolete. the plans for rebuilding it are under way. but the funding isn't there yet. it will cost an estimated $2.4 billion. so far, they have $51 million ready to go. the president's plan would help fund the project and create construction jobs at the same time. republicans claim they're in favor of improving infrastructure, but they have already come out against the president's plan to actually get it done. joining me now is wendell young , he is a member of the cincinnati ohio city council and the chairman of the brent spence safety commission. mr. young, great to have you with us tonight. i think when the president shined a light on this bridge , every american was saying, okay, how dangerous is this bridge ? tell us about it.
>> well, thank you so much. i'm glad to be here. i'm just thrilled that president obama 's shining a light on this particular bridge in our area. you asked how dangerous is this bridge ? this bridge was built to carry 80,000 cars a year. it carries double that now. it has no breakdown lanes. last year, a top deck fell down to the lower deck. there are no breakdown lanes on that bridge . this bridge is very dangerous, very much in need of repair. and president obama is right on target by utilizing this bridge as an example of what can be done to revitalize on economy. the president's bill will bring jobs to this area. it will help the commerce. it will maintain this vital link that is a part of a chain that stretches from florida to michigan. and you're right, this bridge carries nearly 4% of our gross domestic product every year. this is a very important bridge . it needs to be replaced. it needs to be replaced now.
>> i read that number last week and i couldn't believe it. it seemed awfully high, but it is amazing. is funding really the only thing that's holding this up? what is in the way? why can't we get this done in this part of the country for this bridge ?
>> i really wish i had a good answer to that. there are people here who have been working for years to get this bridge replaced, particularly our mayor, senator sherrod brown and our vice mayor have all been actively engaged in trying to get this bridge replaced. the reality simply is that we are in an area where, thanks to the president bringing attention to this, sending that wake-up call to congress, and now it's just a matter of getting boehner and mcconnell to do their job and find the money to fix this bridge . we need to have the will to get it done. we can't wait another 20 years. i'm so pleased at what the president is doing because he's right on target.
>> cincinnati's kind of a conservative town. it's ridden with conservative talk and that way of thinking. what are the folks in that part of the country saying about boehner and mcconnell? they're standing in the way of this. why aren't they standing with the president if the need is as great as you say it is, and i believe it is?
>> the need is every bit as great as i say it is. the reason they're standing in the president's way is beyond me. not only are we talking about commerce. we're talking about jobs. we're talking about people being able to feed their families. we're talking about good-paying jobs, not only for cincinnatians, all over this area, all over this country people are going to want to be coming to work here. we need this job.
>> mr. young, good to have you with us tonight. i hope you get it.
>>> coming up, the great danger that america faces. and, no, it's not nancy grayson in a dance costume . i'll let the folks at fox news explain. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc. [ male