In addition to reporting on the differences between the Mica and Boxer bills, the WSJ reports that Obama is ready to drop his long-championed National Infrastructure Bank for a lending program that has been a boon for Los Angeles' light rail expansion program.
"President Barack Obama recently shifted from calling for a national infrastructure bank that would finance transportation projects and create jobs to saying Congress should pass a bread-and-butter road-construction bill that would rely mostly on existing programs that could get projects under way faster.
The White House has drawn criticism from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and construction-industry lobbyists in recent weeks for continuing to call for a new national infrastructure bank to create jobs. Those critics say that while they support such a bank, it would take several years to begin financing projects, when more-immediate measures are needed to create jobs.
One idea the White House and House Republicans appear to agree on is expanding a program called the Transportation Infrastructure and Innovative Finance Act, or Tifia, which provides low-cost loans and loan guarantees to states, cities, regional transit agencies and private companies to carry out projects."
[Contributor's note: Link to WSJ article may be time-limited to non-subscribers].