Sen. Claire McCaskill says funding shortfalls for roads and bridges in Missouri is a big concern, and that there’s a way the federal government can make those investments without spending federal tax dollars.

McCaskill says she, Sen. Roy Blunt, and several others have introduced two proposals — the Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment (BRIDGE) Act and the Partnership to Build America Act — both of which would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in loans and loan guarantees for infrastructure projects.

She calls it “an elegant solution to a thorny problem,” because it would allow companies to bid at auction on projects, how much they would pay in taxes, and then move money back into the United States from offshore accounts to buy bonds.

McCaskill says MoDOT’s announcement that there will be no new projects joins a backlog of water projects along our rivers and some issues with the electrical grid that also need to be fixed. She says bringing projects to a halt is a grave outlook for future generations and future growth, pointing out that such investments also boost jobs.

Caskill said after meeting with business leaders in Kansas City Friday that budgets are tight, and the focus needs to be on smarter spending for infrastructure projects.

“It’s up to our localities, states and the federal government alike to look for creative, innovative new ways to make these much needed investments,” she said. “Kansas City has been a great example of this-with the help of the largest-in-the-country TIGER grant of $20 million, the downtown streetcar line will soon be a reality, and more than $600 million in downtown development has been pledged since the route’s announcement. Investing in infrastructure is a bipartisan, common-sense idea that is a win-win for the economy-it creates immediate construction jobs as well as a lasting investment in the economic health of our state, as well as future business opportunities.”

AUDIO: McCaskill talks about the proposals (1:22)