BUILD Act

Senators John Kerry and Kay Bailey Hutchison unveiled the:
BUILD Act last week

The BUILD Act is a bold solution that establishes an American Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA) – a type of infrastructure bank – to complement our existing infrastructure funding. This institution, which would provide loans and loan guarantees, would be both fiscally responsible and robust enough to address America’s needs.
AIFA is independent of the political process. It would fund the most important and most economically viable projects across the country, our states, and our communities. AIFA is also fiscally responsible. While AIFA will receive initial funding from the government, after that it must become self-sustaining. AIFA closely follows the Export-Import Bank model, which has helped to boost American exports and has been profitable overall to the government since 1991. Finally, AIFA relies on the private sector. It can never provide more than 50 percent of a project’s costs, and in many cases would provide much less, just enough to bring in private investment.

This sounds good, much better than other infrastructure banks, sort of like the one we proposed. The key bit is that the bank is self-sustaining and profitable. There are details that one could quibble with, little things like scope and where the money comes from, as well as the rural subsidy, but those are less important than then main point, the loans have to be repaid rather than are simply grants.