Barbour says highway bill needed to boost economy

WASHINGTON — It’s critically important for Congress to pass a long-term highway bill to boost local economies, allow states to plan major infrastructure projects — particularly in the South — and help the U.S. compete globally, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday.

“We should be focused on transportation infrastructure, not just for the construction jobs, but for the economic competitiveness it gives us and all of the jobs that accounts for in the economy,” Barbour said. “This is about global competitiveness… A big part of this is about economic growth.”

Barbour, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, joined Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, a Democrat, and Teamster President James Hoffa at the National Press Club to talk about the nation’s infrastructure concerns.