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As the federal government continues to search for ways to grapple with the country’s slowly crumbling infrastructure, two Senators have introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate that would establish a Department of Transportation fund designed to create incentives for private investment into transportation, our sister site CCJ reports.
Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and John D. Rocekfeller IV (D-W.V.) introduced the American Infrastructure Investment Fund Act of 2013 to the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee February 26th. The fund would contain $5 billion for 2014 and 2015 and would offer loans and loan guarantees to private, state, regional and local entities who invest in highways, bridges, rail lines, marine ports, pipelines,public transportation and other transportation projects.
The bill comes a few weeks after President Barack Obama proposed a "fix-it-first" initiative that would invest $50 billion of federal funds into transportation infrastructure.
Meanwhile, states are looking for their own solutions. Wyoming recently voted to pass a 10-cent-per-gallon increase on its gas tax and Pennsylvania has proposed a wholesale fuel tax.
And all of this comes in the face of the massive sequester cuts to the country’s budget which are expected to subtract billions of federal dollars from construction projects.