News Column

DeLauro Returns to Familiar Ground with Infrastructure Bill

June 26, 2013

As she has done with every Congress since 1994, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3, will introduce a bill this week that would create a government-owned corporation to fund a wide variety of infrastructure improvements.

DeLauro said Tuesday during a press conference at the Regional Water Authority that the creation of a national infrastructure bank would protect the public health and safety and would help stimulate the U.S. economy by creating jobs."For our entire history as a nation, our economic prosperity has rested on the foundation of our infrastructure," DeLauro said in remarks prepared for the press conference. "That is true of the transportation infrastructure we normally think about -- the canals and railroads, the highways, roads and bridges. But it is also true of our telecommunications systems, our electrical grid -- and our water supply, which the RWA works to bring to us."

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the U.S. must invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 to bring its infrastructure up to a state of good repair. The establishment of a national infrastructure bank would help attract private dollars from institutional investors, such as pension funds, to supplement funding.

The infrastructure bank would be funded initially through a $25 billion government authorization. After that, the bank would be designed to be self-supporting revenues from the projects that were financed.

During the last Congress, DeLauro introduced the bill before three different House committees. She said that federal lawmakers' unwillingness to pass the legislation is a matter of what she termed "turf wars."

With lawmakers in Washington locked in a heated battle over how and where to cut federal spending, DeLauro said the nation runs a risk of falling further behind in dealing with aging infrastructure.

Source: (c)2013 the New Haven Register (New Haven, Conn.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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