Walorski brings back bipartisan Move America Act to help fund U.S. infrastructure repairs

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) has introduced bipartisan legislation that would expand tax-exempt financing and boost private investments to support overhauling the nation’s outmoded infrastructure.

“State and local governments need cost-effective ways to revitalize our aging infrastructure and move America forward,” Rep. Walorski said on Tuesday. “This bipartisan bill will give them the tools and flexibility they need to leverage private dollars for the infrastructure projects most important to our communities.”

Rep. Walorski on March 5 reintroduced the Move America Act of 2019, H.R. 1508, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to create Move America bonds and Move America credits, according to the congressional record.

H.R. 1508 is her chamber’s version of the same-named S. 146, introduced on Jan. 16 by U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Rep. Walorski originally sponsored the Move America Act, H.R. 3912, in October 2017 during the 115th Congress, while Sen. Hoeven introduced S. 1229 in the Senate. However, the identical bills stalled in committees.  

If enacted, the newly proposed bill’s Move America bonds would generally be treated as exempt facility bonds under current law, with several exceptions, while the Move America credits could be used as equity credits or qualified infrastructure fund credits, according to the bill’s text.  

Rep. Walorski said the bill would bring billions of dollars of investment to state and local governments toward spurring growth and the repair of America’s aging infrastructure.

“A strong American economy depends on a modern infrastructure built for the 21st century,” the congresswoman said. 

“Our country’s infrastructure is falling apart and we are quickly falling behind our global competitors,” Congressman Blumenauer said. “The Move America Act supports billions of dollars of investments in much-needed projects around the country to restore the safety and functionality of all sectors of infrastructure. We can’t afford to wait.”

The proposed Move America bonds specifically would expand tax-exempt financing for public-private partnerships, while the Move America Credits could leverage additional private equity investment at a lower cost for states, the lawmakers added. 

Under the bill, qualifying projects would include airports, ports, transit, freight and passenger rail, roads, bridges, flood projects, inland and coastal waterway improvements, wastewater and sewage facilities, and broadband infrastructure, according to the text.

The new H.R. 1508 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee while the reintroduced S. 146 is under review by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.