The NIB must be on the federal level, state infrastructure banks are not effective Thomasson, Director of Public Policy at Progressive Policy Institute, 11 (Scott, 10/12/11, Congressional Documents and Publications, ProQuest , “The National Infrastructure Bank: Separating Myths from Realities“, IS) There continues to be a great deal of confusion and misinformation about the role of a national bank, and about the structure and features of specific bank proposals currently before Congress, including the president's own proposal included in the American Jobs Act . A properly structured national infrastructure bank is an innovative but sound investment tool that deserves to be a part of the current debate about the many challenges of investing in long-term economic growth and job creation. As Chamber President Tom Donohue has said, i t 's an invaluable part of the solution to how we pay for projects we can't afford to ignore, but it can only work if added to a strong foundation of spending in the transportation reauthorization bills. The Next Step in the Evolution of a National Investment Strategy Both the federal government and state authorities have already taken important steps toward achieving some of the goals of a national infrastructure bank. Innovative financing programs like TMA, the Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Financing Program ("RRIF"), and the Department of Energy's 1703 and 1705 loan guarantee programs have brought powerful changes to the way we approach infrastructure projects, by shifting a portion of the government's role from spending (grants and direct funding) to investment (credit assistance, loans, and loan guarantees). And thanks to incentives created by Congress in past transportation legislation, state s have created their own infrastructure banks to take advantage of new approaches to project finance and planning. As this Committee has recognized, these existing approaches are helpful responses to the enormous investment challenges we face, and they have moved us in the right direction to bring us closer to the modern financing practices used around the world for infrastructure projects. But even when looked at together, these programs have been unable to achieve the full potential we have to mobilize public and private investment in this country . The TIFIA program is oversubscribed with more project applications than it can process and finance, and it is limited by a small staff structure that would likely prove inadequate to handle the large program expansion recently proposed by this Committee. RRIF has failed to deploy most of the loan authority it already has. The DOE loan guarantee program has faced many
challenges, most recently highlighted by the Solyndra bankruptcy. And state infrastructure banks have had a mixed track record , due in part to insufficient capitalizations and leveraging power . Given the
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