Bill for an infrastructure bank introduced in the U.S. Senate

Bill for an –infrastructure bank” introduced in the U.S. Senate

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) has introduced a bill to create an American Infrastructure Bank (AIB) as a way of dealing with the ongoing funding problem for badly needed infrastructure. Under her bill, states would have the option to enter into three-year agreements with the AIB. Those states could remit federal transportation dollars to the bank, apply for a transportation loan through it, or both.

States would receive 90 percent of the remitted money for core infrastructure projects, and states would assume authority and oversight for compliance with certain federal regulations and requirements. Voluntarily repatriated money over a three-year period would be used to capitalize the bank and fund AIB infrastructure loans, along with interest revenue and receipts from remittance agreements.

Congress has a May 31 deadline before current transportation funding expires. Without further funding after that, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has warned, current projects will have to be stopped in mid-construction. The Senate is planning to hold a markup hearing on a six-year transportation funding bill, but not until after that deadline. To avoid halting construction of projects during the peak summer season, lawmakers may well pass yet another short-term measure, as they have for the past several years.

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