Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee hosted a hearing titled, Funding and Financing Options to Bolster American Infrastructure. While the hearing covered a wide variety of funding and financing measures, bonds were at the center of many bipartisan agreements. The House Committee on Ways and Means will host a similar hearing later this morning. The MBFA is drafting testimony to submit in response to both hearings.
The LOCAL Infrastructure Act, which would fully reinstate tax-exempt advance refundings received ample support throughout, as did the expansion of PABs under the context of Public-Private Partnerships. Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) pressed the Committee to take actions to expand the use of PABs to encourage this type of arrangement, specifically for transportation and water projects citing the need for raising the $15 billion dollar cap for transportation projects.
However, much of the discussion was focused on the new BAB-like product, the American Infrastructure Bond (AIB). A bipartisan piece of legislation, the AIB would have a revenue nurtural reimbursement rate of 28% and be exempt from sequestration. Chairman Wyden (D-OR) promoted the legislation by stating,
“We made it clear we want to involve the private sector more extensively in terms of infrastructure funding — that’s what Build America Bonds are all about. This is an approach that Congress has to return to because it works.”
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