Campaign Promises

Other/Miscellaneous -> Independent Organizations -> National Infrastructure Bank

ItemIndependent Organizations
National Infrastructure BankGrade
IO-60 The Promise: "... creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance ... existing federal transportation investments... The Bank will receive ... $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation."
When/Where: Stated in Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure" dated 10/09/08.
Status:The National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2007, during the Bush Administration, was the first step toward creating the promised bank. Under this bill, an independent entity of the government led by a five-member board of directors would be tasked with evaluating and financing regional and national infrastructure projects. The bank would develop a financing package for a selected project with credit from the government. The financing package could include direct subsidies, direct loan guarantees, long-term tax-credit general purpose bonds, and long-term tax-credit infrastructure project specific bonds. The Infrastructure Bank, however, would not replace existing formula grants or earmarks for infrastructure. This initiative expired with the 110th Congress.

A new bill, entitled the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2009 was introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on 05/20/09, did not get further than the House Financial Services Committee, and expired with the 111th Congress at the end of CY2010.

Meanwhile, President Obama's FY2010 budget outline of 02/26/09 included $5 billion for the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank and showed projected outlays of $25 billion for infrastructure improvement projects over the FY10-FY14 timeframe....short of the promised $60 billion goal. This bank was not created under the FY2010 budget.

But, this National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, as promised or by any other name, was forgotten in President Obama's FY2011 budget submission which, instead, proposed the creation of a National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund to be funded at the $4B level under the purview of the Department of Transportation (DOT). This sounded a lot like the intent of the original promise, but the projected funding profile was inconsistent with the promise of "$60B over 10 years." This proposal did not go anywhere and under Title XII, Section 2202 of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 1473), DOT National Infrastructure Investment funds were limited to $528M for FY2011.

With the arrival of the 112th Congress in 01/11, Congresswoman DeLauro introduced a new National Infrastructure Development Bank Act (H.R. 402) on 01/24/11. This government-owned bank would be capitalized at a level of $5B per year for five years. This bill got no further than the House Financial Services Committee and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

On the Senate side, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a bill entitled "American Infrastructure Financing Authority" (AIFA) (S. 652) on 03/17/11. This government entity would be authorized to make loans not exceeding $10B during each of its first two years of operation, then not exceeding $20B during each of the following seven years, and not exceeding $50B during any fiscal year thereafter. This bill sat with the Senate Committee on Finance until it too died at the end of the 112th Congress.

On 12/13/11, Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the "Act of the 99%" (H.R. 3638) which included the establishment of a "National Infrastructure Development Bank" to be capitalized at the $5B level for five years starting in FY2012. This bill did not progress beyond initial House committee reviews and also expired with the 112th Congress.

Lastly, President Obama included the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank in his FY2012 and FY2013 budget proposals. However on 07/20/12, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the creation of such a bank would significantly duplicate current programs such as the Department of Transportation's "Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act" (TIFIA) program.

This promise was not fulfilled.