Bicameral legislation uses public-private partnership model to create American Infrastructure Fund


MANCHESTER, N.H. – January 22, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Continuing her efforts to help advance infrastructure projects in New Hampshire and across the nation, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced today that she is backing the Partnership to Build America Act (S. 1957) – bipartisan legislation that aims to help state and local governments finance initiatives to build or repair roads, bridges, highways, ports, schools, and other infrastructure projects.

Senator Kelly Ayotte in
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Senator Kelly Ayotte in
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Without spending overstretched taxpayer dollars, the Partnership to Build America Act establishes a $50 billion infrastructure fund that can potentially support hundreds of billions in loan guarantees and financing authority for state and local governments. The bill allows U.S. companies to purchase bonds through the fund by allowing them to exclude a certain portion of their overseas earnings from taxation. The amount they are permitted to repatriate for each dollar of bond purchases would be determined by a competitive auction.

“This is an innovative public-private initiative to help state and local governments access the capital they need to bolster transportation infrastructure – without using taxpayer dollars,” said Senator Ayotte. “New Hampshire DOT and communities across the nation need a reliable funding stream for important infrastructure projects. This bipartisan legislation would provide an additional source of funds, at no cost to the taxpayer, to advance priority infrastructure initiatives.”

The American Infrastructure Fund created through the Partnership to Build America Act would help finance infrastructure projects across the country. The fund would make guarantees or low-cost loans to state or local governments, nonprofits, private parties, and public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure projects that state and local governments prioritize.

Representative John Delaney (D-MD) introduced a bipartisan companion in the House of Representatives that has been cosponsored by 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans.

In addition to Ayotte, the Senate bill is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Angus King (I-ME), Dan Coats (R-IN), Mark Begich (D-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Mark Kirk (R-IL). This bill is supported by numerous groups, including the American Business Conference, the American Planning Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, CEMEX, CH2M Hill, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, among many others.

Recently, Senator Ayotte also introduced legislation (S. 1553) that seeks to bolster efforts in New Hampshire to establish a state infrastructure bank that leverages state and federal transportation dollars to attract private investments to help fund local transportation initiatives. Ayotte’s bill aims to update a federal highway law, “MAP 21,” which inadvertently prevents states from using federal resources to help capitalize state infrastructure banks. Although a previous federal highway law approved in 2005 allowed up to 10 percent of a state’s federal highway allocation to be used for the creation of a state infrastructure bank, the authorization to do so expired in 2009. Senator Ayotte’s bill would revive this option for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Once the initial capitalization is repaid, the bill would give states more control over subsequent rounds of lending.


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