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National infrastructure bank: For real this time?

by Reg Clodfelter

After years of unsuccessful legislation aimed at creating a national infrastructure bank (such as 2012 legislation co-sponsored by Sens. John Kerry and Kay Bailey Hutchison), two bills have come to the floor with bipartisan support and a real chance at making history.

“The chances of the bank passing are the highest they’ve been, mainly because the legislation is much more bi-partisan than its been in the past,” says Michael Likosky, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and author of Obama’s Bank: Financing a Durable New Deal (2010).

The Partnership to Build America Act, introduced by Rep. John Delaney (D–Md.) in May 2013, has 27 Republican and 29 Democrat co-sponsors in the House, and a Senate version of the bill, introduced in January 2014 by Sens. Michael Bennet (D–Colo.) and Roy Blunt (R–Mo.), is co-sponsored by four Democrats, seven Republicans and one Independent.

The other bill, t

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