Alliance Hails the Introduction of a Bipartisan Bill to Establish a Nationally Chartered Private Bank to Boost Infrastructure Investments in the U.S.
Washington, DC | January 31, 2023 12:42 PM Eastern Standard Time
The Alliance for Financing U.S. Infrastructure today praised Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Colin Allred (D-TX) for introducing bipartisan legislation to create a nationally chartered bank to provide capital for infrastructure projects throughout the United States. The Federal Infrastructure Bank, as it’s called, will receive no federal funds or government guarantees.
The bill, “The Federal Infrastructure Bank Act of 2023,” H.R. 490, was introduced and referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which both Congressmen are members.
J. Patrick Cave, president of the Alliance for Financing U.S. Infrastructure, called the bill “an important milestone on the march to securing the world’s greatest infrastructure for this nation. Infrastructure is not just an economic boon. It boosts national security at a time of heightened threats around the world.”
“America’s infrastructure is long overdue for critical repairs and needed advancements,” said Rep. Webster. “This bank will work with state and local partners to facilitate private infrastructure investments, creating a much-needed mechanism for projects to access necessary funding.”
"Our rapid growth in Texas requires us to use every tool we can to invest in our infrastructure so our economy can grow an we can remain competitive," said Rep. Allred. "This bipartisan bill will create a national infrastructure bank, modeled after similar banks in states across the country to leverage the private sector to spur sustained, long-term investment to create jobs and help meet our infrastructure needs. I am proud to join my fellow Transportation & Infrastructure Committee colleague Congressman Webster on this bill and look forward to working together to invest in our infrastructure."
Even after funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that at least another $2 trillion is needed to bring U.S. infrastructure up to acceptable levels – and much more to become the global leader. According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. ranks 12th in transportation infrastructure and 23rd for water and electricity infrastructure.
“While federal infrastructure investment is critical,” said Rep. Webster, “the current level of resources from the federal government will not address America’s current infrastructure needs on its own.”
The new bank will attract investments from around the world and provide long-term debt financing and loan guarantees for bridges, tunnels, ports, the electric grid, broadband connectivity, energy pipelines and storage facilities, rail, airports, dams, water treatment, and, says the bill, “any other infrastructure project which the Bank identifies as providing a public benefit.”
The legislation encourages private investment for initial capitalization of the bank through limited tax incentives. The bill requires that at least 10% of the bank’s loans go to “rural areas.” Loans to any foreign country are prohibited, and China, its Communist Party and military are not permitted to invest. The Federal Reserve will oversee the bank, which will not take deposits or be engaged in any activities beyond infrastructure investment.
A major feature of the bank will be working with state infrastructure banks, most of which are now moribund, to invest in worthy projects throughout the nation.
“In contrast to other infrastructure bank proposals,” said Cave, “this legislation establishes a nationally chartered bank that is entirely capitalized by private investment, with a board appointed by shareholders and no taxpayer dollars at risk.”
The Alliance for Financing U.S. Infrastructure is a 501(c)(6) organization whose role is to support the financing of infrastructure in the United States and to promote the common business interests of businesses that would benefit from increased federal financial support for infrastructure development in the United States.”