77th Annual Meeting

FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE BANK

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has recognized the importance of greater public investments in our nation's infrastructure to develop, revitalize, repair, and replace multi-modal transportation networks, transit, roads, bridges, rail, drinking water and wastewater systems, the electric grid, and other large-scale capital projects; and

WHEREAS, according to the 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers - which assigned a cumulative grade of "D" to the nation's infrastructure, with the worst categorical grades afflicting drinking water, inland waterways, roads, and wastewater systems - noted a 5-year investment need of $2.2 trillion; and

WHEREAS, it is evident that critical public infrastructure resources, such as public transit facilities, are dangerously underfunded; that a significant share of the nation's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete; and that current funding for drinking and wastewater systems are significantly less than what is needed to even maintain them in their currently poor conditions, much less meet increasingly stringent standards to protect public health and our environment; and

WHEREAS, the ability of the Federal government to make long-term capital investments in critical infrastructure is impeded by current budget and program processes; and

WHEREAS, decisions about large-scale capital project expenditures should be made through a merit-based process that includes an evaluation of national and regional return on investment; and

WHEREAS, President Obama has called for the creation of a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to address infrastructure challenges, expand and enhance existing federal infrastructure investments, and foster coordination through state, municipal, and private co-investments; and

WHEREAS, establishing an infrastructure bank would provide critical financing for infrastructure projects across the nation that promise significant national and regional benefit, creating numerous new jobs and stimulating immediate and long-term economic activity; and

WHEREAS, the President's Budget Proposal blueprint requests $5 billion for the infrastructure bank in fiscal year 2010, and anticipates that it will receive $25.2 billion through 2019; and

WHEREAS, Congress has recently contemplated creating a "Federal Reserve of Infrastructure," which would use seed money from the Federal government to establish an independent board to provide capital project grants to state and local governments; and

WHEREAS, legislation was introduced in the 110th Congress to create an independent national bank that would identify, evaluate and help finance infrastructure projects of substantial regional and national significance; and

WHEREAS, a new Federal infrastructure bank is a model that could not only help rebuild our public works, but also assist with restoring vitality to bond markets necessary for the long-term health of our nation's economy;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports enactment of legislation to create a new, streamlined Federal Infrastructure Bank necessary to help revitalize the nation's public works and economy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to appropriate $5 billion in fiscal year 2010, as requested by the President, and such funds as may be authorized in future years.