WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is pushing a $50 billion plan to upgrade the nation's transportation networks and create jobs, bringing governors and mayors to the White House to help him make the case.

Obama said Monday that clogged roads and crumbling infrastructure are costing American lives, eroding productivity and hindering economic growth. He spoke from the Rose Garden after meeting with state and local officials and Cabinet officials, who stood behind him for his comments.

The timing of his announcement comes as the public sector slashed 159,000 jobs in September, including the largest cuts by local governments in 28 years.

Obama is eager to show constant attention to the hurting economy, especially ahead of the Nov. 2 congressional elections.