Dan Webster Introduces Bill Tackling Infrastructure Investment

This week, U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., showcased his proposal to “support capital access for infrastructure projects throughout the United States.”

Last week, Webster introduced his “Federal I Infrastructure Bank Act” with U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, as a co-sponsor.

“America’s infrastructure is long overdue for critical repairs and needed advancements,” said Webster this week. “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.

“The bank serves as a compliment, not a replacement, for existing programs and encourages states, municipalities and other entities to pursue all available funding sources,” Webster added. “While federal infrastructure investment is critical, the current level of resources from the federal government will not address America’s current infrastructure needs on its own. The Bank will work with various entities such as state and local governments to identify priority projects and infuse private capital to address our critical infrastructure needs.”

“Our rapid growth in Texas requires us to use every tool we can to invest in our infrastructure so our economy can grow and we can remain competitive,” said Allred. “This bipartisan bill will create a national infrastructure bank, modeled after similar banks in states across the country to leverage the power of 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.”

The bill “will provide loans and loan guarantees specifically targeted to infrastructure projects while being prohibited from engaging in other types of banking activities” and, under the proposal, “project eligibility is broad as no federal taxpayer dollars are at stake and can help finance surface transportation projects, ports, electric grid security, broadband connectivity the revitalization of Main Street USA, and more.”

Webster’s team offered some more details on the proposal this week.

“The Bank encourages private investment for initial capitalization through tax incentives for those investments during the first three years of operation. This approach differs from prior Infrastructure Bank proposals as it will be entirely capitalized by private investment. Infrastructure banks have successfully complemented existing funding programs across the world, including US state infrastructure banks. If enacted, the bank will support industries and projects critical to the structure, growth, and resurgence of the US economy,” Webster’s office noted.

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure; Financial Services; and the Ways and Means Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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