Lending Program Could Replace National Infrastructure Bank
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."
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