Today, by a margin of 69-30, the Senate passed the $1 trillion dollar infrastructure compromise, sending the legislation to the House for a late September debate. The bill includes nearly $600 billion in new funding and expands the usage of PABs, including:
- The Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act (S.1676) is the template for adding broadband as an allowable use for private activity bonds (PABs). This would allow states to issue PABs to finance broadband deployment, specifically for projects in rural areas where a majority of households do not have access to broadband.
- Carbon Capture Improvement Act (S. 1829) allows carbon capture and direct air capture (DAC) technologies to be eligible for PAB financing. These bonds would be outside the volume cap.
- The bill increases the current cap of tax-exempt highway or surface freight transfer facility bonds from $15 billion to $30 billion as proposed by the bipartisan BUILD Act (S.881). Currently, $14,989,529,000 billion of the $15 billion cap has been issued or allocated.
The Senate is now expected to advance the $3.5 trillion dollar budget reconciliation outline which was released yesterday, providing an additional opportunity for advancement of key BDA and MBFA priorities. While the outline includes very few policy details, it guides Congressional tax writers to expand investments in infrastructure amongst other social reforms. The legislative process for this second infrastructure package is expected to last into late fall.
The MBFA and BDA will continue to provide updates as they become available.