President Obama talked about the importance of infrastructure development, including ports, during an appearance Tuesday on The Tonight Show
with Jay Leno.
The comedian asked the president why infrastructure has become a partisan issue in Washington.
Obama told Leno he wants to agree on a financing mechanism to fix roads and bridges.
"The Panama Canal is being widened so these big supertankers [sic., container ships] can come in. That will be finished in 2015. If we don't deepen our ports along the Gulf, places like Charleston, S.C.; Savannah, Ga.; or Jacksonville, Fla., those ships are going to go someplace else. And we'll lose jobs. Businesses won't locate here.
"This is something that traditionally used to be non-partisan," the president said.
Obama said Republicans don't want to pay for these investments.
"We don't need a huge government. But we need government doing some basic things and we should all agree on a sensible mechanism to pay for it so we don't waste money, make sure we're cutting down our permitting times and delays, but let's go ahead and get it done." - Eric Kulisch