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Senators Blunt, Bennet Introduce Bill To Help Create Jobs, Improve Infrastructure

January 17, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Michael Bennet (Colo.) introduced the bipartisan “Partnership to Build America Act” this week to help jump-start job creation by improving our nation’s capability to build and repair roads, bridges, highways, ports, schools, and other infrastructure projects. Click here to read the bill.

The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would establish a $50 billion “American Infrastructure Fund” to help finance top-priority infrastructure projects nationwide. That fund would finance transportation, energy, communications, water, and education infrastructure projects to help put people back to work and improve U.S. competitiveness around the world.

The fund can also potentially support hundreds of billions in loan guarantees and financing authority for state and local governments. The bill encourages U.S. companies to purchase these bonds by allowing them to exclude a certain portion of their overseas earnings from taxation. The amount that they are permitted to repatriate for each dollar of bond purchases will be determined by a competitive auction.

“Washington needs to pass policies to help jump-start private sector job creation. American farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and workers are greatly reliant on our nation’s infrastructure to move goods and services as quickly as possible,” said Blunt. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan bill, which will help communities in Missouri and across America improve infrastructure and compete in a global economy.”

The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Dan Coats (Ind.), Lindsay Graham (S.C.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Angus King (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Mary Landrieu (La.), and Mark Warner (Va.). U.S. Representative John Delaney (Md.) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, which has been cosponsored by 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans.

“Our parents and grandparents helped build this country from the ground up, and in the process grew our economy into one of America’s greatest assets. Unfortunately, Washington has failed to fulfill its promise to maintain our infrastructure – from roads and bridges to our energy grid and public schools,” Bennet said. “In Colorado, we do our best with limited resources to keep things in working order and to break ground on critical new projects like the Arkansas Valley Conduit and the ongoing expansion of public transit in the Denver metro area. This bill will help us improve and expand the infrastructure we need to compete in the 21st century.”

“The American people expect us to work together and find solutions and that’s the spirit behind this legislation,” said Delaney. “It’s clear that we have to upgrade our crumbling roads and bridges and that we must do so in a fiscally responsible manner. Rebuilding our infrastructure will create jobs, make our economy more competitive, and improve our quality of life. I thank Senator Bennet for introducing this legislation in the Senate and Senator Blunt for reaching across the aisle to join him.”

Additional Background On The Partnership To Build America Act:

  • The “American Infrastructure Fund” will make guarantees or low-cost loans to state or local governments, nonprofits, private parties, and public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure projects that state and local governments prioritize.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s infrastructure a D+ on its 2013 report card. Estimates of how much investment is needed to repair and rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure reach as high as $2 trillion over the next two decades.
  • The bill is supported by numerous groups, including the American Business Conference, the American Planning Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, CH2M Hill, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, among many others.

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