A 2017 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers graded the United States a D+ regarding the current state of infrastructure. Four and a half trillion dollars would be needed to restore the nation's infrastructure to a state of good repair, according to the report. The Federal Infrastructure Bank Act of 2023, which was introduced in the House of Representatives in January, aims to provide a way for the federal government to use private sector investments to fund the construction and maintenance of critical infrastructure.
Federal legislation was introduced in 2020 that would establish a new four trillion-dollar national bank authorized to invest solely in infrastructure projects. Modeled on previous banks which helped build much of our infrastructure, the new infrastructure bank would be funded through repurposing existing Treasury debt and would require no new federal spending. The last bank of this kind helped lift the United States economy out of the Great Depression.
The Federal Infrastructure Bank Act of 2023 is designed to stimulate private sector investment in infrastructure projects by providing loans or loan guarantees for eligible projects. Projects eligible for assistance include public transportation services (such as rapid transit systems), broadband networks (including 5G wireless technology), clean energy transmission lines, ports and marine terminals, freight railroads, and intermodal facilities (such as cargo handling centers or distribution hubs), hazardous waste sites cleanup efforts, and wastewater treatment works upgrades.
The proposed infrastructure bank would help create jobs in construction and maintenance roles as well as stimulate long-term economic activity through increased access to transportation networks and other public necessities. Additionally, the bank would support national security objectives by contributing to building resilient communication networks that can withstand cyberattacks and natural disasters, like hurricanes or floods.