To better compete on the world stage and invest in up-to-date infrastructure, the U.S. must establish an infrastructure bank that connects federal funds to private capital. The REPAIR Act that Congressman Scott Peters co-introduced will help keep fiscal sustainability in mind as we Build Back Better.
Learn more about the bill in this May 3rd piece by Transportation Today, posted below:
Sens. Blunt, Warner reintroduce bill to improve U.S. infrastructure
May 3rd, 2021
Thursday, U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced the Reinventing Economic Partnerships and Infrastructure Redevelopment (REPAIR) Act to help close the infrastructure gap.
The bill would establish an Infrastructure Financing Authority (IFA) to provide loans and loan guarantees, complement existing funding mechanisms and expand overall infrastructure investment.
“Missouri is a national transportation hub, and location is our top competitive advantage,” Blunt, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said. “To keep that advantage, we need to invest in improving the safety and reliability of our roads, bridges, rail networks, and waterways. I’m proud to join Senator Warner in introducing this bipartisan bill to help states and localities leverage public-private partnerships to advance their infrastructure priorities.”
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the United States currently faces a $2.59 trillion shortfall in infrastructure needs. Additionally, ASCE estimates government and private sector investments in infrastructure would need to be increased to 3.5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product by 2025 to close the 10-year investment gap.
The senators said the IFA established through the REPAIR Act would become self-sustaining over time and would be run by an appointed Chief Executive and Board of Directors, independent of any federal agency. The IFA would only fund economically viable projects of at least $50 million or rural projects of at least $10 million. Five percent of IFA funding would be reserved for rural projects. All projects would undergo rigorous analysis and show clear public benefit, meet economic, technical, and environmental standards, and be backed by a dedicated revenue stream to be considered for IFA funding.
“The time has come to put sizeable, long-term, tangible capital investment into our nation’s infrastructure,” Warner said. “From bumpy roads to worn down bridges to dilapidated airports to overwhelmed water and sewage systems, commuters, homeowners, travelers, and our overall economy have become too familiar with our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, which costs us tens of billions of dollars every year. We must enact bold legislation to modernize our infrastructure, and the REPAIR Act will need to be a part of that equation.”
The REPAIR Act is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Chris Coons (D-DE). Companion legislation was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH).