The Warner-Blunt Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in

Employment (BRIDGE) Act will help close America’s widening infrastructure gap, create millions
of jobs, and ensure America’s global competitiveness in the 21st century by establishing an
Infrastructure Financing Authority to complement existing funding mechanisms and expand overall
infrastructure investment. This entity, which would provide loans and loan guarantees, would be
both fiscally responsible and robust enough to help address America’s infrastructure deficit.


Americans using our outdated roads, bridges, airports and water systems confront the need for
better infrastructure every day. Businesses experience it too: our economy loses $80 billion
annually because of blackouts on outdated grid infrastructure and traffic congestion. Our urban
water and sewage systems are also overwhelmed and in ill repair due to aging water infrastructure.
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report ranked the U.S. outside the top
ten (11th) in overall infrastructure out of 138 countries surveyed.

For years, the federal government has struggled to come up with the necessary funding for
infrastructure investment. The last surface transportation bill that passed, the FAST Act, provides
highway and transit funding for five years. However, it was paid for through siphoning off funds
from unrelated programs and estimates show that the Highway Trust Fund will again be broke
when the bill lapses. And while the bill provides the Department of Transportation with additional
tools to advance innovative financing mechanisms such as the Build America Bureau, much more
needs to be done. The outlook for a gas tax increase or other funding fix in the near future is bleak.
As a result, the U.S. spends less than 40 percent of what is needed to meet our infrastructure
demands and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that we will need to invest
$4.6 trillion in the next ten years to bring American infrastructure to a state of good repair.


Global pension funds, private equity funds, mutual funds, and sovereign wealth funds are looking to
invest hundreds of billions of dollars in high-quality, low-risk infrastructure projects.
Unfortunately, those investments are currently not taking place in the United States, where the
private sector provides only six percent of the nation’s infrastructure funding.

The BRIDGE Act will change that. This legislation will enable infrastructure investment here in the
U.S. by incentivizing private sector investment. It also addresses market gaps, like the absence of
long-term lending, which will allow us to dramatically increase private investment in American
infrastructure. By effectively leveraging federal funds to partner with private dollars, we can
dramatically grow overall domestic infrastructure investment.
BRIDGE Act Summary, page 2


The BRIDGE Act would establish a fiscally responsible Infrastructure Financing Authority (IFA) to
complement our existing infrastructure funding through loans and loan guarantees. IFA would be
independent of the political process, fund the most important and most economically viable
projects nationwide, and incentivize private investment. While IFA would receive initial funding
from the government, it would become self-sustaining over time.


Independent, non-partisan operations

 While IFA would be a government‐owned entity, it would operate independent of any
federal agency. It would be led by a Chief Executive Officer and a Board of Directors,
consisting of seven voting members.
 No more than four voting members of the board could be from the same political party.

Strong oversight by Congress and the Federal government

 The Board and CEO would be appointed by the President, with one board member
designated as chairperson. All candidates would be confirmed with the advice and consent
of the Senate.
 The Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, as well as the Speaker and Minority
Leader of the House of Representatives would each recommend candidates.
 The Treasury Department’s Inspector General would oversee IFA’s operations for the first
five years, an independent auditor would review IFA’s books, and IFA would submit an
assessment of the risks of its portfolio, prepared by an independent source. After five years,
IFA would have its own dedicated Inspector General.
 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) would also conduct an evaluation of IFA and
submit a report to Congress no later than five years after the date of enactment, as well as a
second report ten years after enactment.

Broad eligibility for infrastructure

 Eligible projects would include transportation infrastructure, water infrastructure, and
energy infrastructure in the transmission, distribution and storage sectors.
 Projects must be at least $50 million and be of national or regional significance to qualify.
Geographic, infrastructure sector, and size considerations would be taken into account.

Unbiased project selection

 Projects must go through rigorous analysis and show clear public benefit, meet economic,
technical and environmental standards, and be backed by a dedicated revenue stream.
 The project selection process would be conducted in a transparent and objective manner so
that the project evaluation and selection process is publicly accessible.
 The CEO would be responsible, in consultation with professional staff, for reviewing and
preparing the eligible project applications.
 The Board would be responsible for the ultimate approval or disapproval of the eligible
projects submitted to the Board by the Chief Executive Officer and staff.
BRIDGE Act Summary, page 3

Project Delivery Task Force

 Within the IFA, the CEO would establish a Project Delivery Task Force to provide a
permitting timetable for projects receiving financing through the IFA and, through inter-
agency coordination and concurrent review, accelerate the approval process.

Strong rural protections

 Rural projects would only need to be $10 million in size.
 Five percent of IFA funding would be dedicated to rural projects.
 Projects must still have a clear public benefit, meet rigorous economic, technical and
environmental standards, and be backed by a dedicated revenue stream.

Office of Technical & Rural Assistance

 IFA would establish an Office of Technical & Rural Assistance to provide technical assistance
to State and local governments in the development and financing of infrastructure projects.
 The Office would assist in identifying and developing a pipeline of viable projects that meet
the goals of the BRIDGE Act, and which are suitable for financing through innovative project
financing mechanisms and through performance-based project delivery.
 The Office would also work with regional infrastructure accelerator programs to build the
capacity of local governments to evaluate and structure infrastructure projects involving
the investment of private capital, and to facilitate the creation of a pipeline of infrastructure
projects available for investment.

Addressing market gaps for infrastructure financing

 Loans issued by IFA would use approximately the same interest rate as similar-length
United States Treasury securities and would have long maturity terms, up to 35 years.
 IFA would finance no more than 49 percent of the total costs of the project, in order to avoid
crowding out private capital.

Self-sufficiency of IFA

 IFA is set up to be self-sufficient over time.
 To achieve self-sufficiency, the CEO of IFA would establish fees for loans and loan
guarantees. These fees could be in the form of application fees or transaction fees, and could
include an interest rate premium associated with the loan or loan guarantee.
 IFA would receive initial funding of $10 billion, which would earn interest. This funding
would be used to offset the cost of the loans to the Federal government and to cover
administrative costs.
 Funding would be subject to the Federal Credit Reform Act, but would be exempted from
the requirement that appropriations are needed for subsequent loans and loan guarantees.

Private Activity Bonds

 To complement the loans and loan guarantees it provides, the BRIDGE Act also would lift
the volume cap on the issuance of Private Activity Bonds for highway and freight transfer
purposes from the current statutory limit of $15 billion to $16 billion.

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