Speaker Pelosi evokes National Plans in State of the Union "pre-buttal"

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urged the rebuilding of America's infrastructure in the spirit of America's historic national plans in her "pre-buttal" to President Bush's State of the Union Address last Friday at the National Press Club. She said,

"For our nation, we will chart a New Direction where we renew America's infrastructure and rebuild it in a way that is greener and helps confront the climate crisis.
"Two hundred years ago, in 1808, Thomas Jefferson charged his Treasury Secretary, Albert Gallatin, with drafting a plan to develop America's infrastructure, works like the Erie Canal and the Cumberland Road, to take advantage of a nation that was growing thanks to the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
"A century later, in 1908, Theodore Roosevelt launched a similar commitment when he convened a White House Conference on Conservation to stress the importance of preserving America's natural beauty.  That led to the creation of the National Park Service and helped a growing America remain a green America.

"In 2008, in keeping with the traditions of these great American leaders, we must keep America growing while making America greener.

"That means reinvesting in our crumbling highways and bridges and renewing our commitment to mass transit, solutions which will create jobs for the middle class.  It also means expanding broadband access across America, and particularly to rural communities.

"Again, in our infrastructure challenge there is job-creating opportunity - to reinvigorate the American economy.

The 1808 and 1908 national plans, as well as the early interstate plan of the National Resources Planning Board in the 1930s, have served as inspirations for the America 2050 initiative since its first conception. The plans are described in historian Robert Fishman's paper: 1808 - 1908 - 2008: National Planning for America, commissioned for the America 2050 workshop at the Rockefeller Foundation's Global Urban Summit this past summer.

Now these historic plans are honored in two resolutions introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) last week in the House of Representatives. The resolutions honor the bicentennial and centennial of the Gallatin Plan and Theodore Roosevelt's Conference of Governors, respectively, resolving that the U.S. House of Representatives:

"supports the creation of a new national plan to align the demands for economic development with the resources of the Nation."


Download H. Res 935 commemorating the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt's Conference of Governors.

Download H. Res 936 commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Gallatin Plan.