Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Infrastructure Bills

U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) introduced two bipartisan bills that would use revenues from tax reform to finance infrastructure.
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U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) introduced two bipartisan bills that would use revenues from tax reform to finance infrastructure.

Representatives Delaney and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) on March 22 introduced the Infrastructure 2.0 Act, which would fund infrastructure projects through a mandatory, one-time 8.75 percent tax of the overseas earnings and profits of deferred foreign income corporations.

The revenue generated would be allocated to the Highway Trust Fund, a newly-created American Infrastructure Fund, and a pilot program to create regional infrastructure accelerators.

In addition, Representatives Delaney and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) introduced the Partnership to Build America Act, which proposes to finance infrastructure projects through bonds, the purchase of which would allow corporations to repatriate a proportional amount of overseas earnings tax-free.

In announcing his legislation, Congressman Delaney said, “There is a lot of interest on both sides of the aisle in infrastructure and our solution bridges the partisan gap. Our broken tax code and our crumbling infrastructure are two problems that are dragging down productivity and economic growth and tackling these two problems at once would be completely transformative for our long-term trajectory.”

The measures were introduced the same day that Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure, introduced “Investing in America: A Penny for Progress,” which authorizes the U.S. Department of Treasury to sell 30-year Invest in America Bonds annually through 2030 that would generate nearly $500 billion in additional revenues for the Highway Trust Fund that must be put toward authorized highway and transportation projects.

A Penny for Progress indexes gas and diesel user fees beginning in 2017 to the National Highway Construction Cost Index and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards as a means of repaying the bonds. Gas and diesel user fees would increase about 1 cent per year with a 1.5 cent per year cap.

NATSO applauded Congressman DeFazio and his staff for seeking a highway funding solution that would stop the motor fuels tax from losing ground and avoid the need for inefficient and counter-productive revenue-raising mechanisms such as tolling or commercializing rest areas, which harm highway users, interstate-based businesses and the local communities in which they operate.

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