House members revive infrastructure bank proposal

ADVERTISEMENT
But in a "Dear Colleague" letter released on Thursday, the group of 15 Republicans and 15 Democrats pressed again for a national transportation fund.

The group said it would be possible this time to attract private investment into a national infrastructure bank with minimal federal spending. 

"Join us in helping to rebuild and expand our nation’s infrastructure by cosponsoring H.R. 2084," the letter said. "This bipartisan legislation will generate millions of jobs and grow our economy by creating a $750 billion privately-financed mechanism to rebuild our country’s infrastructure at zero cost to the taxpayer."

The legislation, dubbed the Partnership to Build America Act, calls for an initial federal outlay of $50 billion, which has been proposed before.

Most of the previous infrastructure bank proposals have come from the Democratic-controlled Senate, which is why supporters say this new action in the GOP-led House is important.  

In their "Dear Colleague" letter, the lawmakers supporting the new House infrastructure bank proposal said it would leverage [the initial $50 billion] to provide low-cost loans and loan guarantees totaling $750 billion to state and local infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships. 

"The [American Infrastructure Fund] will sell Infrastructure Bonds at a 50-year maturity that pay 1 percent interest to capitalize the $50 billion fund," the letter said. "These Infrastructure Bonds are not guaranteed by the U.S. government. Corporations are incentivized to purchase these relatively unattractive bonds through repatriating approximately $4.00 of their overseas earnings tax-free for every $1.00 they invest in the bonds. The AIF will lend to states and municipalities to help finance qualified transportation, energy, communications, water, and education infrastructure projects."

The letter was signed by Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Luke Messer (R-Ind.)

The bill to create the infrastructure bank is co-sponsored by Reps. Ron BarberRon BarberGiffords to lawmakers avoiding town halls: 'Have some courage' Ten House seats Dems hope Trump will tilt House conducts moment of silence for Tucson shooting anniversary MORE (D-Ariz.); Ami BeraAmi BeraDems, not trusting Trump, want permanent ObamaCare fix Independent investigation into Russian interference needed House Democrats identify vulnerable incumbents for 2018 cycle MORE (D-Calif.); John Carney (D-Del.); Gerry ConnollyGerry ConnollyFirst federal agency gets 'A' grade in IT report card Washingtonians take center stage at Will on the Hill Dem rep: Abuse, violence against the press 'hallmarks in Trump era' MORE (D-Va.); Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardJane Sanders starts group to boost ‘progressive voices’ Lawmakers renew push to end federal ban on marijuana The 43 people who might run against Trump in 2020 MORE (D-Hawaii); Joe GarciaJoe GarciaFreshman Curbelo wins reelection in Fla. LGBT Republican groups campaigning for Curbelo in Fla. House Democrats amplify anti-Trump strategy MORE (D-Fla.); Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.); Ron KindRon KindCongress should prioritize small farmers and taxpayers over Big Ag Why Trump is fighting Canada on softwood lumber and dairy Lawmakers targeted as district politics shift MORE (D-Wis.); Ann McLane Kuster (D-N.H.); Jim MoranJim MoranTrump can help farmers by improving two-way trade with Cuba Former GOP House veterans panel chairman goes to K Street Former reps: Increase support to Ukraine to deter Russia MORE (D-Va.); Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.); Scott Peters (D-Calif.); Jared Polis (D-Colo.); Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Mass.); Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz); Andy BarrAndy BarrThe Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan A guide to the committees: House How we can boost the economy through foreign direct investment MORE (R-Ky.); Tom Cole (R-Okla.); Rodney Davis (R-Ill.); Mike  Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.); Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.); Bill Johnson (R-Ohio); David Joyce (R-Ohio); Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.); Robert Pittenger (R-Pa.); Scott RigellScott RigellGOP rushes to embrace Trump GOP lawmaker appears in Gary Johnson ad Some in GOP say Trump has gone too far MORE (R-Va.); Steve Stivers (R-Ohio); Michael Turner (R-Ohio); Ed WhitfieldEd WhitfieldWhy Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog What Azerbaijan wants from Israel? Overnight Energy: Green group sues Exxon over climate science MORE (R-Ky.) and Ted YohoTed YohoThe Hill's 12:30 Report Why global health investments are key to ‘Making America Great’ Overnight Defense: Trump scolds NATO allies over spending | Flurry of leaks worries allies | Senators rip B Army 'debacle' | Lawmakers demand hearing on Saudi arms deal MORE (R-Fla.).