by Gabe Bullard
Third District Congressman John Yarmuth says time is critical in the debate over a national infrastructure bank.
Several members of Congress have called for the creation of a fund to hold federal money and private investments. The government would award grants from the fund to infrastructure projects of national or regional importance.
Yarmuth says the bank could help pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project, but legislation creating the bank would likely have to pass Congress by the end of the year for the Bi-State Authority to apply for funds and keep the project on schedule.
“The $4 billion dollars is in the President’s budget for this coming year,” he says. “And, again, that’s for projects of national and regional significance and Secretary LaHood thought we’d have a good chance of qualifying.”
Yarmuth also says the bank could be the only way some crucial projects will be funded.
“I think there’s an understanding that there is no option,” he says. “We have to find a way to do this or we are going to basically undermine our future competitiveness as an economy and as a country.”
Yarmuth met with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in Jeffersonville earlier this year to discuss the bridges project.