Bipartisan Group of Senators Re-Introduce Legislation to Create Jobs Through Infrastructure Investments
“Build America Bonds” Act Will Get Nation Working to Restore America’s Aging Roads, Rail Lines and Bridges
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Encouraging much-needed job creation and investment in transportation construction and repair, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Roger Wicker, (R-Miss.) today re-introduced the bipartisan “Build America Bonds” Act (S. 238). The funding from this one-time federal bonding program has the potential to create 2.5 million new jobs and shore up that nation’s aging roads, rail lines and bridges by funding projects in states across the nation.
“The Build America Bonds Act represents a financially responsible way to make needed enhancements to our nation’s aging infrastructure,” said Wicker. “Making these investments now will create thousands of jobs while strengthening our transportation infrastructure to ensure our country remains economically viable and globally competitive in the future.”
“Creating jobs while reviving our roads and bridges, the Build America Bonds Act will give every American an opportunity to invest in their country’s future,” said Wyden. “It’s a patriotic solution at a time when the nation needs new ideas.”
“One of the greatest challenges our nation presently faces is creating economic growth without inflicting long-term damage on our economy by piling up mountains of debt and deficit spending,” said Thune. “The Build America Bonds program would provide significant opportunities to create meaningful jobs and dramatically improve our nation’s transportation infrastructure without adding to our nation’s deficit.”
“Much of our nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair,” said Collins. “With the funding made possible by this legislation, America could improve much of its infrastructure and create thousands of new jobs in the process.”
“The tragic collapse of Minnesota’s I-35W bridge highlights the need to secure and maintain the integrity of our nation’s bridges and roads, but this obligation carries a hefty price-tag,” said Klobuchar. “The Build America Bonds Act is one of many sensible funding options for our infrastructure needs.”
By providing $50 billion in additional Federal transportation funding, Build America Bonds will empower all states to complete critical infrastructure projects. Build America Bonds would be available to institutional and individual investors for purchase in different denominations, so that all Americans can have the opportunity to support upgrading America’s transportation infrastructure. The resulting funds would be controlled by the states and could not be earmarked for Congressional pet projects. The Act ensures that money will be distributed in an equitable manner by requiring that each state receive at least 1 percent of the funds.
More information about the Build America Bonds Act can be found at: http://wyden.senate.gov/issues/transportation.cfm
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that for every $1 billion in new transportation funding nearly 47,500 jobs are created and an estimated $5.7 billion in economic activity is generated. In addition to creating jobs and roughly $285 billion in economic activity, the $50 billion infusion of cash from Build America Bonds can be applied to projects on all modes of transportation including roads, rail, ports, waterways and transit.
This legislation is supported by a diverse group of business, labor and transportation infrastructure associations including: Associated General Contractors of America (AGC); American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO); U.S. Chamber of Commerce; National Association of Manufacturers; National Construction Alliance – a coalition of the Laborers, Carpenters and Operating Engineers Unions; American Highway Users Alliance; and many others.