New Senate Infrastructure Proposal is Introduced

On Thursday, Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment (BRIDGE) Act, S 1714.  While text for the bill is not yet available, it is reported that the bill creates an independent, nonpartisan authority that would oversee multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects for highways, sewer systems, bridges, and other infrastructure.

Funding would come from both government and private investors and the initial $10 billion in seed money would come from Federal taxes.  The projection is that the $10 billion would leverage nearly $300 billion in private investments.  Selected projects would have to demonstrate regional or national significance; have a base cost of $50 million; and have a 49% public finance cap.  Rural projects would receive a 5% setaside for projects of $10 million or greater.

The measure has bipartisan support with four Democrat (Sens. Kirstin Gillibrand-NY, Chris Coons-DE, Amy Klobuchar-MN, and Claire McCaskill-MO) and four Republican (Lindsey Graham-SC, Dean Heller-NV, Roger Wicker-MS, and Mark Kirk-IL) cosponsors joining Warner and Blunt.  The bill has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.