National Infrastructure Bank would revolutionize infrastructure funding, legislators say

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A bill that would create a National Infrastructure Bank would rebuild, replace and revolutionize infrastructure in Pennsylvania and the United States without raising taxes, four Pennsylvania legislators said.

State Democratic Reps. Mary Jo Daley, Eddie Day Pashinski, Joseph Ciresi, and Ed Neilson said in an opinion piece posted on the Pennsylvania House Web site, said H.R. 6422 introduced in Congress earlier this year would help the country and states pay for badly needed infrastructure needs.

“If there’s one issue that Americans mostly can agree on as Democrats, Republicans, and independents – as well as presidents past and present – it’s that our great country needs to repair, rebuild, replace and enhance its physical and operational infrastructure for our country’s future and prosperity,” the legislators said. “What we can’t seem to agree on is how to pay for it. In Pennsylvania, each driver pays $620 per year in lost time and repairs due to driving on thousands of miles of inadequate roads in desperate need of repair, while more than one in 10 Pennsylvania households don’t have an internet subscription – often because there is no service or it’s not affordable.”

The legislation would create the National Infrastructure Bank (NIB), developed as an institution separate from the Federal Budget, to set up as a government-sponsored lending, deposit-money bank, using existing treasuries held by the public sector.

The legislators said the process had been used four times before to restore America’s economic stability, first under George Washington, to fuel the birth of the U.S. economy; then under John Quincey Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Aside from Washington, the NIB was used to reinvigorate the economy or keep the economy going in times of great need – such as during the Civil War and after the Great Depression.

The legislators said the NIB was needed to help the country recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by addressing infrastructure needs.

“Building and repairing any kind of infrastructure is an American issue – not a political issue – and the NIB is an American policy – not a political policy. The NIB means more than 25 million living-wage jobs for our families. The NIB also means producing American steel and American products needed to build a long-lasting system of improvements, in turn providing our children and grandchildren decades of up-to-date, modern facilities and the infrastructure needed to maintain a high quality of life,” legislators wrote. “Simply put, the NIB is the best way to restore our reputation and superiority as a great country by providing a modern, efficient, healthy, and safe system of transportation, education, and communication for future generations of Pennsylvanians and Americans to come.”

The legislators urged constituents to contact their representatives and senators in Congress and ask them to pass H.R. 6422.