A bill designed to secure funding for infrastructure projects in poor communities across the country is currently being considered before two Congressional committees.
The Generating American Income and Infrastructure Act will require the selling of what are described as “distressed assets” held by a number of federal agencies.
Those assets are thought to have a market value of more than $2 trillion. Once sold, the revenue would be distributed by the Treasury Department to communities whose populations are below the national poverty line.
“Even in this time of historically strong economic growth, some of our country’s poorest communities are still waiting for significant infrastructure improvements,” noted Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania in a statement sponsoring the legislation.
The legislation, H.R. 6104, will directly benefit such communities, added Kelly, “and boost their economics without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.”
The fact that the legislation would not entail new taxes is seen by its backers as one of the more appealing aspects of the proposal, given that attempts earlier this year to raise the nation’s fuel tax as a mean of funding infrastructure projects met with great opposition on Capitol Hill.
Supporters of the legislation additionally point out that the funded community infrastructure projects would more than likely lead to new employment opportunities for below-income African American and Hispanic residents in those communities.
The proposal is currently under review in both the House Committee on Agriculture, as well as the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
By Garry Boulard
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