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Obama pitches public works spending, and private-sector involvement, to create jobs

Friday - 3/29/2013, 4:40pm  ET

MIAMI (AP) -- President Barack Obama is trying to show that the economy remains a top priority -- with a visit to Florida today to promote a plan that would create construction and other jobs.

The plan is aimed at attracting private money to help rebuild roads, bridges and other public works projects.

Obama outlined the plan at a Miami port that is undergoing $2 billion in upgrades -- paid for with government and private dollars.

He said even though the unemployment rate among construction workers has been cut in half over the past three years, it's still the highest of any industry. Obama said rebuilding the nation's infrastructure is a way to create jobs and strengthen the economy over the long run.

The proposals would need approval from Congress. They include $4 billion in new spending on two infrastructure programs that award loans and grants. He's also urging higher caps on what are called "private activity bonds." They're used by state and local governments to attract investment.

In Obama's State of the Union speech last month, private-sector investment in infrastructure was a key part of his economic agenda.

%@AP Links

188-a-11-(President Obama, speaking after tour of Port of Miami)-"of our children"-President Obama says he's announcing a new "Partnership to Rebuild America." (29 Mar 2013)

<> 00:11 "of our children"

187-a-14-(President Obama, speaking after tour of Port of Miami)-"bridges, our schools"-President Obama says putting Americans to work on public works projects would be a great investment. (29 Mar 2013)

<> 00:14 "bridges, our schools"

190-a-15-(President Obama, speaking after tour of Port of Miami)-"businesses and workers"-President Obama says building up the nation's infrastructure is a no-brainer, not a partisan issue. (29 Mar 2013)

<> 00:15 "businesses and workers"

APPHOTO FLLA104: President Barack Obama speaks at a port in Miami, Friday, March 29, 2013, promoting a plan to create construction and other jobs by attracting private investment in roads and other public works projects. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez) (29 Mar 2013)

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