On Bloomberg TV, Portman Highlights Need to Rebuild America’s Aging Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, D.C. –- (RealEstateRama) — During an interview today on Bloomberg Television, Senator Portman discussed the need to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. Referring to the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, Portman said that modernizing our infrastructure represents a great opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis to improve our economy, create jobs, and deliver results that will make a difference. The interview comes as President Trump visits Cincinnati with a focus on how to improve our transportation infrastructure.

Excerpts of the interview can be found below and a video can be found here.

Reporter: “What do you make of what the president is trying to do this week in laying out an infrastructure plan? Are you supportive? And perhaps as important, how are we going to pay for it?

Senator Portman: “I am supportive of the principles. He laid out some principles which indicated the administration was going to take this on as a task after perhaps health care is done and maybe as part of tax reform or after tax reform. I think that’s great. If you look at our roads and bridges around the country, probably about a third are in bad shape. In terms of our bridges, we have probably about 10 percent of bridges that are essentially functionally obsolete. I think that’s the term for it. One happens to be in my hometown of Cincinnati, which is the Brent Spence Bridge. Our ports are in need of help. Our airports are in need of help.

“So, I am encouraged by what I see. They’re talking about public/private partnerships as you know, David. So in terms of how you pay for it, what they have talked about is taking some federal money, almost like seed money, and then using the leverage of private activity bonds or tax credits or other instruments, TIFIA funding –which is a federal guarantee or loan—to try to expand the amount of resources available. And I think it is an opportunity to both improve the economy, by the way short-term and long-term. It puts people to work immediately and then it creates a better economic environment going forward if you choose the right projects. And then secondly, I think it is an opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis on something where Democrats and Republicans alike seem to have similar views.”

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