FRANKFORT — Gov. Steve Beshear wants to meet with President Barack Obama when the president travels to Cincinnati next week to urge Congress to approve his $447 billion jobs bill.
The White House announced Thursday that Obama would deliver remarks at the Interstate 75/71 Brent Spence Bridge that connects Cincinnati and Kentucky.
"We are reaching out to the White House to see if Gov. Beshear can meet with President Obama to discuss several issues that are of importance to Kentucky families," Beshear's director of communications, Kerri Richardson, said in response to a question from the Herald-Leader.
Obama will be in the back yards of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
The bridge, on one of the busiest trucking routes in North America, is considered "functionally obsolete" because of the repairs it needs.
Obama mentioned it in his speech to Congress last week when introducing his American Jobs Act. The estimated cost of repairing the bridge is $2 billion.
The White House said that if Congress approves the president's measure, "we can put more Americans back to work while getting repairs like this done."
Obama's visit comes while much attention in the region is focused on the I-64 bridge over the Ohio River at Louisville, which was closed last week when cracks were discovered. The two bridges were built in the same era and of similar materials.
Beshear, a Democrat who is seeking re-election, was criticized by many, including his Republican challenger, David Williams, and independent challenger Gatewood Galbraith for not meeting with Obama when the president visited Fort Campbell in May.
Beshear said in July that he did not mislead the public when he said a scheduling conflict prevented him from appearing with Obama.
Although the White House did not extend a formal invitation for Beshear to go to Fort Campbell, Beshear said he would have been there to greet the president if his schedule had allowed it.