Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is Senior Editor for Politics & Policy for WNYC News. She has previously served as Metro Editor, Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Rendell: Congress Should "Take a Deep Breath" and Pass Infrastructure Bank Now
Monday, August 08, 2011 - 01:39 PM
That the group Building America's Future thinks the U.S. should be investing more money in infrastructure is about as shocking as 90 degree temps in August, but in a conference call announcing the release of its new report: "Falling Apart and Falling Behind," former PA Governor Ed Rendell, one of BAF's chairs, gave a particularly urgent call to arms on an infrastructure bank, which would leverage federal funds to funnel private investment into roads, bridges, transit, and rail.
"Congress has to take a deep breath and listen," Rendell said, when asked how to clear the increasingly daunting hurdle of asking the federal government to do anything about infrastructure spending .
"Let’s take the infrastructure bank. If we create the infrastructure bank and hold it for major transportation projects of regional significance, if we fund it at $5 billion a year, $5 billion in credit subsidy from federal treasury, that would produce over $600 billion in private sector investment, and in the end because these would be loans that would be repaid, in the end cost to the federal treasury? Zero. Zero. And we get $600 billion that we could invest in infrastructure repair in the next decade."