Cautious House ready to debate Obama’s infrastructure bank proposal

Hearing will be held Oct. 12; T&I Chair Mica raises some concerns

Funding News John Mica October 07, 2011
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The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will hold a hearing on President Barack Obama’s infrastructure bank proposal on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

House T&I Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said he supports innovative financing to meet the infrastructure needs of the U.S., but is not a fan of Obama’s plan.

Obama is calling for a National Infrastructure Bank capitalized with $10 billion in order to leverage private and public capital and to invest in a broad range of infrastructure projects of national and regional significance.

“This hearing will focus on questions relating to the estimated $270 million year-long process of creating another federally backed agency designed to pick project winners and losers,” Mica said in a statement. “The Washington bureaucracy-based infrastructure bank President Obama is advocating raises more concerns.”

Mica would like Washington to build on the 33 existing state infrastructure banks. Although most lack funding, Mica said the framing is already in place where projects can be selected and could get moving, which would “put people to work on an expedited basis.”

“It is my hope the hearing will focus on the most positive steps we can take to move major infrastructure projects forward and get people working,” Mica concluded.

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