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Economy

San Diego Mayor Faulconer On MSNBC: Infrastructure Repair Is 'Vital'

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks to NBC's Peter Alexander on the MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Jan. 21, 2015.
Screen grab from MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks to NBC's Peter Alexander on the MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," Jan. 21, 2015.

San Diego Mayor Faulconer On MSNBC: Infrastructure Repair Is ‘Vital’
A week after Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivered his big annual speech, he appeared Wednesday on national television to comment on the president’s yearly address.

A week after Mayor Kevin Faulconer delivered his big annual speech, he appeared Wednesday on national television to comment on the president’s yearly address.

In the State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Barack Obama proposed passing a long-term infrastructure plan to improve things like ports, bridges and the Internet.

"Twenty-first century businesses need 21st century infrastructure — modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet. Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this," Obama said. "So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come."

On MSNBC’s "Andrea Mitchell Reports" Faulconer said he supports the goal.

"When you look at the backlog of infrastructure, particularly our roads, you look at our bridges. I mean these are vital for commerce, these are vital for our families and obviously to drive around," he told NBC's Peter Alexander, who filled in for Mitchell.

Faulconer, who is in Washington, D.C., for an annual conference with the country's mayors, said the issue is particularly important to San Diego. A new report shows the city is suffering from a nearly $4 billion backlog in repairs to assets such as streets, sidewalks and sewer lines.

"It’s not just a short term thing Peter, as you well know, it's really, 'what are we doing for the next 10, 15 and 20 years?'" Faulconer said on the program. "I think that’s is one area where Republicans and Democrats agree — and we have to get it done."

Federal transportation funding, Alexander pointed out, could stop in May.

Faulconer said he's speaking with other mayors at the conference to find ways to better work with federal lawmakers.

"A huge push from all of us as mayors is it's about bipartisanship. It's about actually getting results," he said.

Alexander also asked Faulconer if he was interested in running for U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat. The California Democrat announced this month she will not run for re-election in 2016. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat, has said she'll run for the spot, but Faulconer said he wants to stay where he is.

"I've been on the job for about 11 months now. I love it," he said.