Napolitano to call for 'infrastructure' stimulus - East Valley Tribune: News

Napolitano to call for 'infrastructure' stimulus

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Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 6:39 pm | Updated: 9:24 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Gov. Janet Napolitano is going to Washington this week to urge Congress to approve a public works program to help stimulate the economy.

Napolitano said she will tell members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday that lawmakers should finance "infrastructure construction." She said those programs are not unlike what Congress approved in the 1930s to help the country recover from the Depression.

"We know that money spent on infrastructure - roads, dams, bridges, border infrastructure - that creates jobs now," she said Tuesday.

"Of course, the construction sector out here has been the most hard-hit in the downturn," the governor continued, saying the state needs "jobs now."

"It's infrastructure we know we need," Napolitano said. "So it's a win-win for everybody."

The governor said she is not suggesting that Congress create work projects just to find ways to spend money.

"It's really accelerating projects that already are on the books," she said. "They're ready to go."

Napolitano also will be lobbying for Congress to increase the money being paid to states for Medicaid, which provides free health care for the needy.

That comes through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which covers everyone below the federal poverty level - $21,200 annual income for a family of four. The federal government now picks up about two-thirds of the cost.

Napolitano said more federal dollars in the program would "ensure that we don't increase the ranks of the uninsured during the economic downturn."

The governor continued to sidestep questions of her political future and the possibility she might become the U.S. Attorney General or possibly the Secretary of Homeland Security.

"I have no offers before me," she said. "It's up to President-elect Obama who he selects for his Cabinet."

Pushed as to whether she would be interested, Napolitano responded, "I'm obviously always willing to serve my state and my country."

Napolitano also said she has "no plans" to meet with Obama while she is in Washington this week.

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