Freshman Congressman John Delay (D-MD)introduced bipartisan legislation that would attempt to finance transportation,energy, communications, water, and education infrastructure projects. The bill known as “The Partnership to Build America Act” was introduced with a tremendous amount of bipartisan support with 13 Republicans joining 13 Democrats as original cosponsors.
The legislation would create the American Infrastructure Fund (AIF) that would provide loans and loan guarantees to state or local governments to finance qualified infrastructure projects. The AIF will be funded by the sale of $50 billion worth of Infrastructure Bonds.
The bill does not require an appropriation; rather, it would generate the $50 billion by incentivizing U.S. corporations to purchase the bonds by allowing them to repatriate a certain amount of overseas earnings at a reduced tax rate. The legislation assumes the $50 billion would be leveraged at a 15:1 rate to provide up to $750 billion in loans or guarantees.
The AIF also requires the use of a public-private partnership for any of the projects it finances.
The Associated General Contractors supports Congressman Delay’s bill and is also currently working closely with Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) on a bonding proposal specific for transportation infrastructure. The association's No. 1 goal is to ensure the long-term viability of traditional infrastructure funding mechanisms, such as the Highway Trust Fund, but AGC also welcomes innovative financing proposals that will help our nation address our growing infrastructure needs.