Building America by building infrastructure

Last month the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution celebrating the 200th anniversary of Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin's plan for building the infrastructure of a young United States of America. Back in 1808, Gallatin launched the ambitious construction of new roads and canals because he understood such projects would provide the backbone of a growing nation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi marked the anniversary by outlining a new vision for the expansion of our nation's infrastructure -- particularly high speed Internet access:

In 2008, 200 years after Thomas Jefferson and Secretary Gallatin, 100 years after Theodore Roosevelt, in keeping with the traditions of visionary leaders like them, we are prepared to invest in America's strength. We again must invest in our infrastructure to do so. Today, that means green solutions, such as mass transit, and modern solutions, such as expanding broadband across America...

Just as they did 200 years ago, these infrastructure investments offer our nation job-creating opportunities to reinvigorate the American economy. Anything we're talking about in terms of infrastructure means good paying jobs right here at home in America. It's not only about creating those jobs, it's about growing our economy.

The expansion of high speed Internet infrastructure will boost the economy both by plugging more Americans into the digital marketplace and by creating good jobs for those building the new infrastructure. It's a win-win situation -- now we just need to make sure Speaker Pelosi's commitment gets funded and implemented.

Her remarks were a follow-up to the House Democrats' Innovation Agenda, unveiled in 2005, which includes the goal of universal high speed Internet access in the United States. You can view the complete Innovation Agenda here.

Pelosi: 200 Years After Gallatin Project, We Must Again Invest in Our Infrastructure (Press Release)

Pelosi: Unveils Innovation Agenda, Part of Vision for a Stronger America