“The purpose of National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) shall be to facilitate efficient, long-term financing of infrastructure projects, business and economic growth, and new job creation in the United States.”
Bill 3339 of the 117th Congress that proposed this infrastructure bank was originally introduced in 2021. [The bill now before the 118th Congress is HR 490] The Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act of 2021 (providing $1.2 trillion in transportation investments) was insufficient to repair the nation's infrastructure at an estimated cost of $6.1 trillion. At $5 trillion, the NIB will fill the gap. Here is how it will work (see Coalition for the National Infrastructure Bill below):
- "Bill creates a $5 trillion public bank to lend for infrastructure projects only
- Covers 16 Project categories monitored by the American Society of Civil Engineers
- Additional categories: Affordable Housing, High-Speed Rail, Water projects to address drought
- Affordable Housing: $720 billion dedicated financing; lowest 30% AMI*; priority for NIB
- Water to the West: $400 billion dedicated to bring water into the west (all types of projects, like FDR**)
- Financing for all urban mass transit systems in California
- Creates 25 million new jobs, Davis-Bacon wages***, Buy America****, DBE*****, significant investment in low income urban and rural communities
- Supercharges the economy: GDP increase 5% per year
- Requires no new Federal Spending, Taxes, or Debt
- Source of Capital: Existing U.S. Treasury Bonds held in private accounts; exchanged for Preferred Stock (silent partners, no voting)
- Conventional commercial bank lending, low interest loans at Treasury bond rates; flexible terms; Loan maturity over the life of the project
- Excess profits go to Trust Fund to provide grants for poor communities"
Many of you have read my recent articles regarding the creation of a public bank for the state of Washington. That effort continues in Olympia but is unrelated to efforts on a national level regarding infrastructure. The NIB, as described above, is an effort in the U.S. Congress that will benefit all states. The Washington State Senate already endorsed the NIB bill in January 2023 with the SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8001 which has been sent to the president and both houses of the U.S. Congress, and which reads in part:
“A new national infrastructure bank could directly finance much of our nation's infrastructure, in partnership with state and local officials, and lead to the reemployment of people who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic…”
A list of the many other states, counties, and cities, as well as unions and other organizations, can be found here. The list is impressive. Nationally, to boost the bill and inform the pubic, there is also the Coalition for the National Infrastructure Bank.
“The Coalition for the National Infrastructure Bank …consists of like-minded political leaders dedicated to a common purpose, enacting HR 3339 to create a $5 Trillion Bank to fund U.S. infrastructure. [It is] modeled on four previous banks, beginning with the First and Second Bank of the United States, and was last used by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Each time the bank was used, America developed as a manufacturing nation. It must be used for that same purpose today.”
To assist in informing the public and promoting the NIB legislation, the Coalition is sponsoring a Zoom town hall on Thursday, May 18th at 5 p.m. EDT. Click HERE to find out more about the town hall and to register. [Note: If you register and lose your registration link, just register again.]
Comments by Readers
Satpal SidhuMay 15, 2023
I also endorse such a policy decision to create a visionary fiscal investments for our future generations and not the election cycle investments. Look what the Federal Goverment’s inaction for last 3 deacdes has done to deteriorate our communites and citizens. The bickering goes on and we get piecemeal investment decision for our infrastructure, housing, mental / behavioral health.
We need another $5 trillion multi-decade American Housing Renewal Fund to allow low interest mortages ( like 1-2%) for “permanently affordable” housing in every community.
Dianne FosterMay 23, 2023
I was on the call as well, after which I called Larsen’s office in Everett and spoke with his aide, (whose name I didn’t catch). Anyway, she seemed quite interested, and looked it up online as we spoke. Apparently the newest bill is HR490, and only has a couple co-sponsors, so we’re starting from scratch. Maybe we should put together a group visit to his office to better inform everyone, since it’s a fairly complex deal.
Dick ConoboyMay 23, 2023
Thanks for contacting Larsen and for the new bill number HR490. Not sure I am in a position to talk to the details of the bill with Larsen. The Coalition for NIB is more into doing that kind of outreach.