News Column

King Joins Bipartisan Push to Improve Nation's Infrastructure with Innovative Financing Proposal

January 21, 2014

WASHINGTON , Jan. 21 -- The office of Sen. Angus S. King Jr ., I-Maine, issued the following news release: U.S. Senator Angus King last week joined Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) to introduce a bipartisan bill to jumpstart our nation's capability to build and repair roads, bridges, highways, ports, schools, and other infrastructure projects. Without spending overstretched federal dollars, the Partnership to Build America Act will help put people back to work building projects across the country, while helping to improve U.S. competitiveness in the 21st century global economy. It establishes a $50 billion infrastructure fund that can potentially support hundreds of billions in loan guarantees and financing authority for state and local governments. The fund would finance transportation, energy, communications, water, and education infrastructure projects across the country. 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. "America's deteriorating infrastructure is not only a debt we leave to the generations of tomorrow, but it's also a roadblock to the very commerce that drives our economy today," Senator King said. "The bipartisan Partnership to Build America Act recognizes that infrastructure investment is an American challenge that Republicans, Democrats, and Independents must solve together. I am proud to support this innovative effort to rebuild roads, bridges, and railways across Maine and the nation so that we can move our country forward." The American Society of Civil Engineers gave America's infrastructure a D+ 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 American Infrastructure Fund created through the Partnership to Build America Act will help finance top priority infrastructure projects across the country. The 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. Representative John Delaney (D-MD) introduced a bipartisan companion in the House of Representatives which has been cosponsored by 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans. The Senate bill is also cosponsored by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Dan Coats (R-IN), Mark Begich (D-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Mark Kirk (R-IL). This bill is supported by numerous groups, including the American Business Conference , the American Planning Association , the Associated General Contractors of America , CEMEX, CH2M Hill , the American Society of Civil Engineers and the U.S. Conference of Mayors , among many others. TNS 30TacordaCheng-140122-4608935 30TacordaCheng

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Source: Targeted News Service

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