Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced a bill to increase statutory cap on Private Activity Bonds to $20.8B to help state and local governments enter new public-private partnerships for surface transportation projects. The lawmakers unveiled the Building United States Infrastructure and Leveraging Development Act on Wednesday intending to boost the original statutory cap from the current $15B budget.
The BUILD Act would increase the amount of tax-exempt bonds the Department of Transportation provides for highway and freight improvement projects. Cornyn said allowing the government partner with more private companies in such infrastructure projects would reduce the cost to taxpayers.
“As more and more of our infrastructure requires critical improvements, it’s imperative we find ways to reinvest in our roads and rails without the burden falling to taxpayers,” he said.
Warner added the bill would also boost U.S. competitiveness in the growing efforts of other countries, like China and India, to invest in infrastructures. He noted the BUILD Act could potentially close the current infrastructure gap in the U.S. through the combination of private investment and public funds.