A group of 20 Senators have signed onto a bipartisan infrastructure principles document. The proposal would introduce $579 billion in new spending and represents a significantly scaled back version of earlier outlines. New funding would be directed at a broad array of infrastructure priorities, including surface transportation, energy, broadband, water and resiliency.
Wednesday’s plan also included 11 proposed financing sources to offset the cost of new funding. While the document does not explicitly list critical NAST priorities relating to municipal bonds, such as restoration of tax-exempt advance refunding bonds, it does include a proposal to create a direct-pay bond program that would presumably look similar to Build American Bonds (BABs).
The proposal also proposes to “repurpose unused COVID relief funds for infrastructure” and to “expand eligible uses of COVID state/local funds.” While NAST has long supported expanded flexibility for states to determine how fiscal support may be spent, we remain concerned by proposals to clawback funds that may have already been disbursed, encumbered or spent.