Rep. Fattah Promises County Officials He'll Fight for the Urban Agenda and Appropriations

Oct 14, 2010, 16:05 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 14, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus, promised officials of the nation's largest counties that he will use his clout to "put cities and counties at the front end" of Congressional priorities and funding.

The eight-term Congressman, Pennsylvania's senior member of the House Appropriations Committee spoke by video conference from Philadelphia to the Large Urban Counties Caucus of the National Association of Counties, meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.

Fattah has chaired the bipartisan Congressional Urban Caucus since 2007. He said he is determined that it will "become the most impactful caucus in the Congress."

Fattah praised the Recovery Act for its job-creating programs, especially in meeting urban needs in transportation, housing, education, law enforcement and youth. "Now we have to fight to have it as part of the ordinary appropriations process," he said.

The Congressman singled out President Obama's Infrastructure Bank as a key to solving the huge backlog in urban areas caused by decaying bridges, roads, rails, waterworks and airports. He said he will lead that fight "for infrastructure in your communities, from roadways to runways."

Fattah cited a Brookings Institution study that cities and metropolitan areas are the economic engines of American society, accounting for 80 percent of all jobs. While Congress must work to balance the budget and eliminate unnecessary red tape, Fattah emphasized that he and his colleagues should "not make foolhardy cuts that will do long-term harm."

Fattah was introduced by Baltimore City Councilwoman Helen L. Holton as "our good friend and ally in Washington" and cheered by the county officials who are charged with setting legislative priorities for their governments in major metropolitan areas.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah