Reason Foundation backs Delaney bill

The nonprofit calls the congressman’s infrastructure bill ‘a step in the right direction’.

Congressman John Delaney’s proposed legislation for the creation of a $50 billion infrastructure fund won the endorsement of the Reason Foundation, a public policy think tank based in Washington DC.

Robert Poole, director of transportation policy and the Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow at the Reason Foundation, called the Partnership to Build America Act, “a step in the right direction,” Delaney’s office said in a statement, citing Poole’s comments that appeared in the foundation’s transportation newsletter.

“I have been skeptical of all proposals for a ‘national infrastructure bank,’ primarily concerned about their likely evolution into entities like those FDR [Franklin D. Roosevelt, former US President] created during the [Great] Depression, which funded projects primarily on political criteria,” Poole wrote.

“Delaney has proposed a different approach, which would involve no federal budget allocations and issue no debt that puts federal taxpayers at risk,” he stated, noting, however, that some of the bill’s provisions in connection with public-private partnerships (PPP or P3) need further work.

Bill HR 2084 which Delaney, a Democrat from Maryland, introduced in May this year, enjoys bipartisan support having 17 Republican and 17 Democratic co-sponsors to date.

Its aim is to create an infrastructure fund that can be leveraged to $750 billion through bond financing. US corporations would be encouraged to buy these bonds given the opportunity to repatriate foreign earnings tax free.

“The fund will then provide loans or loan guarantees to states and municipalities to finance transportation, energy, communications, water, and education infrastructure projects,” according to the statement.