House Transportation Chair John Mica opened a hearing on an infrastructure bank by stating “I’m afraid that the national infrastructure bank is dead on arrival in the House.”
The lone witness in favor of creating a federal infrastructure bank, Marcia Hale, president of Building America’s Future, observed a federal infrastructure bank is
“the most effective way to leverage billions of private-sector dollars for infrastructure projects of national significance, including those that span state boundaries or encompass multiple modes of transportation.” She added the bank could be provided “with strict guidelines to ensure that the process is streamlined, transparent and based on merit.”
Four of the five witnesses testified in opposition to a federal infrastructure bank, with the common themes being it’s too expensive, would takes too long to set up and add bureaucracy, and such investment decisions are better made at the state level.
Chairman Mica commented that:
“A more positive approach would be to build on the 33 existing state infrastructure banks which lack financial backing but are in place, can get projects selected and moving and put people to work on an expedited basis.”