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Bill To Facilitate Funding For New Projects Introduced In Senate

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Alarmed by the huge infrastructure investments made by countries like its trade rival China and India, top US lawmakers have introduced a legislation in the Senate to facilitate funding for new projects in the country.

Introduced by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Mark Warner (D-VA) on Wednesday, the Building United States Infrastructure and Leveraging Development (BUILD) Act raises the federal statutory cap on Private Activity Bonds (PABs) issued by or on behalf of state and local governments for highway and freight improvement projects from $15 billion to $20.8 billion.

This would increase the amount of tax-exempt bonds the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) can approve for these projects by $5.8 billion.

This bipartisan bill will help finance improvement projects through public-private partnerships, resulting in minimal cost to taxpayers with maximum impact on America's roads, bridges, and rails, according to Sen. Cornyn.

PABs allow state or local governments to issue tax-exempt debt, with approval from USDOT, for qualified highway or surface freight transfer facilities. Less than $5 billion in PABs remain under the original statutory cap, set at $15 billion, and that amount is likely to be consumed in the very near future.

The BUILD Act would raise the statutory cap on PABs to $20.8 billion, allowing state and local governments to enter into additional public-private partnerships and enhance the capacity to finance additional surface transportation projects with private investment.

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