U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) has introduced H.R. 2541, the Building United States Infrastructure and Leveraging Development (BUILD) Act, with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) to encourage road, bridge, rail, and freight improvements.
“Investing in our nation’s infrastructure is one of my top priorities in Congress,” said Davis. “That’s why I’m proud to team up with Rep. Blumenauer of Oregon to introduce the ‘BUILD Act.’ Our bipartisan legislation expands the use of an innovative public-private partnership to encourage new investments in road, bridge, rail, and freight projects. It’s no secret that our infrastructure is in desperate need of additional investment. I look forward to working with lawmakers in Congress to pass the BUILD Act and other critical infrastructure legislation.
America’s roads, bridges, tunnels, and transit face a funding gap of more than $1.1 trillion by 2025. One in five miles of highway pavement is in poor condition and congestion costs the U.S. economy nearly $305 billion annually. Continued underinvestment will lead to longer trips to work or school, more costly maintenance expenses, and unsafe road conditions.
One way to improve our nation’s infrastructure is by turning to private sector financing. Private Activity Bonds allow state or local governments to issue tax-exempt debt, with approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation, for qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities. As of December 1, 2020, no surface transportation Private Activity Bonds remain available as the entire $15 billion statutory cap has been issued or allocated by the Department of Transportation. The BUILD Act would double the statutory cap to $30 billion, allowing state and local governments to enter into public-private partnerships and improve their ability to finance additional surface transportation projects.
Supporters of the BUILD Act include the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Association for the Improvement of American Infrastructure (AIAI), Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.