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Senate drafts bill to spur infrastructure growth

By |  May 18, 2017

The Senate introduced a bipartisan infrastructure investment bill that would use federal dollars to generate about $300 billion of investments in projects.

According to The Hill, Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) led the introduction of the bill, which is dubbed the Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment (BRIDGE) Act. The legislation would leverage private-sector dollars through a new investment bank to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

“We must think boldly and make real investments in our nation’s infrastructure rather than kick the can down the road with short-term fixes,” Warner says.

The BRIDGE Act would use $10 billion in federal dollars to create about $300 billion in project investments, The Hill reports. Also, the bill would create an independent financing authority to provide loans and other forms of financial assistance to help states fund projects for roads, bridges, rail, ports, water, sewers and other infrastructure.

The bank would initially get seed funding from the government before becoming self-sustainable, The Hill adds.

According to The Hill, the Trump administration plans to release a sketch of its $1 trillion infrastructure proposal later this month. A detailed proposal of the plan likely won’t emerge until later this summer.

The Trump administration’s plan is expected to rely heavily on private financing, according to The Hill, which also reports that some of the president’s advisers are exploring the idea of setting up an infrastructure bank for the nation.

The BRIDGE Act emerges at a time when House Democrats introduced an $85 billion infrastructure spending package of their own.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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