The Senate Banking Committee today held a hearing on the feasibility of establishing a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) to handle the financing of regional and national infrastructure projects. President Obama pushed this earlier in September in conjunction with an overall push for infrastructure spending, with the idea based in large part on legislation introduced by Sen. Dodd (D-CT), which is analyzed in FSM Report INFRASTRUCTURE. Democratic senators, Administration witnesses and a banker supported the NIB, but Sen. Shelby (R-AL) argued tht it is too close to the GSE model. He prefers the current method of Congressional appropriations that dictate federal spending priorities. This report summarizes the hearing. Legislative action in this Congress is not likely and, like other initiatives, its fate in the next Congress will depend on the mid-term election.
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