Missouri’s two U.S. Senators are backers of an effort to encourage the use of more private dollars to support road, bridge, sewer, and other infrastructure projects.
Senators Roy Blunt (R) and Claire McCaskill (D) are both supporting a bill that would create an infrastructure financing authority. It would offer loans and loan guarantees to help states and local governments fund infrastructure projects.
Blunt sees it as being less of a highway and bridge bill.
“Principally it would be looking at infrastructure projects that relate to water and sewer and wastewater facilities and energy, as opposed to transportation infrastructure,” said Blunt. “You know in St. Louis, a part of the wastewater system was built when Abraham Lincoln was president. It’s amazing how long wood will last when you keep it perpetually under water, but it’s not going to last forever.”
McCaskill says the proposal would help Missouri better leverage private money for infrastructure needs without the use of federal tax money.
“The United States-and my home state in particular-is in an infrastructure crisis,” said McCaskill. “At a time when Congressional leaders have failed to produce or let us vote on a long-term highway bill, this is an innovative approach that can help in Missouri and in states across the country to start tackling our highest priority infrastructure needs.”
The BRIDGE Act, standing for Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment, is backed by a bipartisan group of 9 other senators.