WASHINGTON, D.C. – Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (R-FL), and Texas Congressman Colin Allred (D-TX) recently introduced H.R. 490, the bipartisan Federal Infrastructure Bank Act of 2023, a bill to support capital access for infrastructure projects throughout the United States.
“America’s infrastructure is long overdue for critical repairs and needed advancements,” said Rep. Webster. “This bank will work with state and local partners to facilitate private infrastructure investments, creating a much-needed mechanism for projects to access necessary funding.”
“Our rapid growth in Texas requires us to use every tool we can to invest in our infrastructure so our economy can grow and we can remain competitive,” said Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32). “This bipartisan bill will create a national infrastructure bank, modeled after similar banks in states across the country to leverage the power of the private sector to spur sustained, long-term investment to create jobs and help meet our infrastructure needs. I am proud to join my fellow Transportation & Infrastructure Committee colleague Congressman Webster on this bill and look forward to working together to invest in our infrastructure.”
The Federal Infrastructure Bank will provide loans and loan guarantees targeted to infrastructure projects while being prohibited from engaging in other types of banking activities. Under the legislation, project eligibility is broad as no federal taxpayer dollars are at stake and can help finance surface transportation projects, ports, electric grid security, broadband connectivity the revitalization of Main Street USA, and more.
“The bank serves as a compliment, not a replacement, for existing programs and encourages states, municipalities and other entities to pursue all available funding sources,” Webster added. “While federal infrastructure investment is critical, the current level of resources from the federal government will not address America’s current infrastructure needs on its own. The Bank will work with various entities such as state and local governments to identify priority projects and infuse private capital to address our critical infrastructure needs.”
The Bank encourages private investment for initial capitalization through tax incentives for those investments during the first three years of operation. This approach differs from prior Infrastructure Bank proposals as it will be entirely capitalized by private investment. Infrastructure banks have successfully complemented existing funding programs across the world, including US state infrastructure banks. If enacted, the bank will support industries and projects critical to the structure, growth, and resurgence of the US economy.
Lawsuit Filed In New York
ALBANY, N.Y. – As reported in Construction Dive and on WNYT News, an African-American construction worker recently filed a lawsuit against an Albany, New York-based developer and one of its subcontractors, alleging that the developer’s superintendent told him to use a “colored” entrance to go into a jobsite breakroom.
“The worker filed suit against Rosenblum Development and AJS Masonry, a concrete and masonry contractor in Clifton Park, New York, that his union had assigned him to work for in September 2022,” writes Joe Bousquin at Construction Dive. “The worker said in the suit that when he asked to enter a trailer to heat his lunch in the microwave, Rosenblum’s superintendent told him he had to enter through a separate door due to his race.”
Biden Touts Made In America Plan For Construction
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In remarks made at the annual State of the Union speech on Feb. 7, President Biden mentioned construction-related topics in the following context.
“Tonight, I’m also announcing new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America. American-made lumber, glass, drywall, fiber optic cables. And on my watch, American roads, American bridges, and American highways will be made with American products.
“We used to be #1 in the world in infrastructure, then we fell to #13th. Now we’re coming back because we came together to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the largest investment in infrastructure since President Eisenhower’s Interstate Highway System.
“Already, we’ve funded over 20,000 projects, including at major airports from Boston to Atlanta to Portland. These projects will put hundreds of thousands of people to work rebuilding our highways, bridges, railroads, tunnels, ports and airports, clean water, and high-speed internet across America.”