By Keith Laing - 07/11/11 04:57 PM EDT
In March, Kerry and Hutchison proposed creating an American Infrastructure Financing Authority at an initial cost of about $10 billion. It would provide loans and loan guarantees for large infrastructure projects.
President Obama included about $30 billion for the bank in the $556 billion he proposed spending on a highway bill over six-years, but lawmakers have recently unveiled figures that a significantly less than that amount. The Democratically-controlled Senate is pursuing a two-year, $104 billion bill, which will have a higher per-year average than the House's proposal for a six-year, $230 billion bill.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) has said the House version of the bill will eschew a federal infrastructure bank in lieu of encouraging states to create their own.
"That way they won't have to come to Washington to get approval," Mica said as he rolled out his proposed transportation bill last week.