Infrastructure & Environment

Sens. Warner, Blunt Introduce Infrastructure Finance Bill

The bipartisan group of lawmakers say the legislation, which provides a new way to pay for infrastructure projects, would allow states and localities to build quicker.
by | November 15, 2013
Sens. Mark Warner, left, and Roy Blunt, right, question witnesses during a Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security subcommittee hearing.
Sens. Mark Warner, left, and Roy Blunt, right, question witnesses during a Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security subcommittee hearing. FlickrCC/NickPrete

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) introduced legislation Thursday that would provide a new way for state and local governments to get low-interest financing to help build infrastructure projects.

The proposal would create an independent, nonpartisan financing authority, seeded with $10 billion, to offer loans and loan guarantees to states and localities. The idea is that the fund could help provide the final piece of financing needed to get a project underway in cases where projects also have private investment.

Warner, in a statement, emphasized that the legislation isn't a "silver bullet" but instead "creates smart new tools to help our states and localities unlock billions of dollars in additional private investments at a time of very favorable interest rates."

The proposed Infrastructure Financing Authority would be designed to facilitate big projects -- those with a price tag of $50 million or more -- that are considered regionally or nationally significant. A Warner spokesman said the program could offer lower interest rates than conventional financing -- just slightly above the rates of Treasury securities -- as well as longer terms and flexible repayment schedules.

The new authority would finance no more than 49 percent of a project's cost, and loans and loan guarantees would carry fees that helped make the authority sustainable on its own.


View Full Story

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Infrastructure & Environment