Biden Praises Nation’s Mayors For Bipartisanship At Orlando Meet

ORLANDO (CBSMiami/AP) — Taking a jab at a Congress the Obama administration thinks is doing more harm than good Vice President Joe Biden on Friday urged a bipartisan approach for fixing the nation’s urban infrastructure problems. At the same time he blamed Republicans in Congress for holding up passage of a transportation bill that could fund construction jobs around the country.

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting at a Universal Studios Biden told hundreds of mayors that party politics should be set aside when figuring out how to fund cities’ infrastructure and limit the devastation of the nationwide foreclosure crisis.

“We need to put aside all of the partisanship,” Biden said. “That’s how we used to do it.”

While he preached bipartisanship to the mayors, Biden blamed Republicans in Congress for failing to pass a $109 billion transportation bill that could fund construction jobs around the country.

The Democratic vice president thanked Republican mayors who supported stimulus measures, including Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a registered Republican. Her city spent $14 million from the Recovery Act keeping 41 police officers on the streets.

“Mayors are involved in the day-to-day delivery of crucial services,” Swearengin said. “And we tend to put partisanship aside.”

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