WEST PALM BEACH — Putting $5 billion in federal money into a "national infrastructure bank" would create jobs and reduce the deficit, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, told officials from the world's largest cement company Tuesday afternoon.
During a visit to Cemex Corp. offices here, Deutch pitched a Democratic bill to create an infrastucture bank, which would combine federal start-up money with private investment to finance road, bridge, electricity and broadband projects around the United States.
Photo Credit: Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post
Versions of an infrastructure bank were touted by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and by a combination of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO this year.
"There is an awful lot of work to do and there are plenty of jobless Americans who are ready do it, but the funding levels don't cut it," Deutch said.
Deutch said inadequate roads, bridges, power grids and broadband capacity cost the economy billions of dollars in lost productivity and tax revenue.
"Ridding our economy of these inefficiencies is less expensive than the cost of doing nothing, the cost that we will incur later because of our failure to act now," Deutch said.
Deutch is one of 56 cosponsors of a bill by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., establishing the bank as a wholly owned government corporation that would issue tax-free bonds and borrow on the global capital market and lend to entities and commercial banks to finance infrastructure projects.
Deutch said the bank's appointed board would be more likely to choose projects based on merit rather than the political considerations that can influence traditional congressional appropriations.