What They Are Saying about the Partnership to Build America Act

What They Are Saying about the Partnership to Build America Act

In May of 2013, Congressman John Delaney first introduced the Partnership to Build America Act. Congressman Delaney has reintroduced the bill the last two Congresses, including most recently in March of 2017.

The Partnership to Build America Act finances $750 billion dollar in infrastructure investment using no appropriated funds. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) first introduced a Senate version of the bill in January of 2014, with bipartisan support. Delaney has expanded this framework with his Infrastructure 2.0 Act, which also provides six years of funding for the Highway Trust Fund.

Here’s what they’re saying about the bill in the press:

"Well one tax deal that could get done this year is repatriation. Allow American companies to bring home some of the $2 trillion they have stashed overseas, at a reduced tax rate but with strings attached that require them to use the money either to make job-creating investments or buy infrastructure bonds. That’s a deal that already has bipartisan support in Congress, thanks to the work of Democratic Rep. John Delaney—whose efforts earned him a nod in Fortune’s new list of the World’s Greatest Leaders. Repatriation is hardly the grand tax reform plan that Trump and others have been touting. But it’s a starting place. Maybe something bigger can be built from there." - Alan Murray, Fortune, 3/28/17

"If President-Elect Donald J. Trump is the dealmaker that he claims to be, sometime between now and Jan. 20, he ought to stop by the Longworth House Office Building's Room 1632 and ask for John. The two men might find they have a few things to talk about. That's because Maryland's 6th District Rep. John K. Delaney, a Democrat, has been a leading voice in his party for leveraging greater private investment in the nation's failing infrastructure — its roads, bridges, airports, water and sewer systems, rail lines, schools and the like. During the campaign, Mr. Trump touted his own plan to increase such spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years, chiefly through tax incentives." - Baltimore Sun Editorial, 11/29/16

"Suffice to say that the process would be a win-win—companies would likely end up paying low tax rates on the repatriated profits and have a substantial amount of the money to reinvest, while also providing a bundle of capital for infrastructure investments, which in turn would be leveraged by the fund into as much as $750 billion in loans or guarantees for infrastructure projects. A substantial share of those projects would be public-private partnerships, with most of the decisions made not by the federal government, but by state and local governments with their own skin in the game.

The process may be complicated, but the goal and the outcome are both highly desirable and do not cross the ideologies of either party." - Norm Ornstein, The Atlantic, 5/8/14

"Last May, Rep. John Delaney introduced the Partnership to Build America Act, which would finance $750 billion in new infrastructure investment using no appropriated funds. He proposes an American Infrastructure Fund to be financed by the sale of 50-year infrastructure bonds at a low, fixed interest rate to corporations; the companies would be allowed to repatriate a certain amount of their overseas earnings tax-free for every dollar they invest in these bonds. Rep. Delaney's bill has 50 House co-sponsors—25 Republicans and 25 Democrats. Just last week, a bipartisan team, Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Roy Blunt, introduced a companion bill in the Senate, with nine additional co-sponsors—five Republicans, three Democrats, and an Independent. Query: Why shouldn't Mr. Obama endorse the Delaney bill and re-energize a long-stalled debate?" - William Galston, Wall Street Journal, 1/22/14

"Last summer, we sang the praises of Maryland Rep. John K. Delaney's proposal to create a $750 billion fund to rebuild and expand America's neglected public infrastructure. Turns out the freshman Democrat's measure continues to build on its bipartisan support — now with a companion bill introduced in the U.S. Senate.What makes the 6th District Democrat's Partnership to Build America Act so appealing is that it hits two birds with one stone. The fund would be financed by borrowing money privately — allowing private companies to repatriate foreign profits by purchasing $50 billion in 50-year bonds that will pay for the badly-needed road, transit, water, sewer, energy and other projects. Mr. Delaney's background in finance has obviously come in handy. Most in Congress understand that the nation has an enormous infrastructure backlog — estimated at $3.6 trillion by the American Society of Civil Engineers — and many probably also recognize that the billions of dollars in profits American-based multinational companies have parked off-shore pose a challenge, too." - A New Way to Rebuild, 1/21/14, Editorial in the Baltimore Sun

"Last May, Delaney introduced "The Partnership to Build America Act" to finance infrastructure programs through the tax-free repatriation of overseas earnings of U.S. corporations. The legislation so far has 24 cosponsors from each side of the aisle, an early sign that its merits trump partisanship. It fits with the Obama administration's call for job-creating infrastructure programs and its desire to see offshore earnings return to the U.S. (though not tax-free). James H. Burnley IV, a former transportation secretary, a staunch Republican, and someone who knows good and bad policy when he sees it, has called it the "most original, creative idea on infrastructure financing in the last 30 years."" - DC Velocity, 11/18/13

“U.S. Rep. John Delaney deserves major credit for two things: for proposing financial legislation that has bipartisan support, and for crafting a bill that would help pay for a fast-deteriorating national transportation infrastructure without increasing the nation’s debt or raising taxes.” – Editorial Board, 6/22/13, Frederick News-Post

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Congressman Delaney’s bipartisan Partnership to Build American Act.  When Rep. Delaney presented this idea to me, I told him that I thought it was the best idea of the year.” – Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), 5/23/13, Press Release

“Congressman Delaney’s bipartisan Partnership to Build America Act is an innovative proposal to upgrade America’s infrastructure with no additional burden to the taxpayer, no increase in the national debt, and no appropriated funds.  The American people sent us to Congress to work together and find solutions and I am pleased to reach across the aisle to join Congressman Delaney in developing and advancing this innovative infrastructure bill” – Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), 5/31/13, Press Release

“Maryland's newest congressman, freshman Rep. John K. Delaney. A Democrat with a background in finance who represents the 6th District, which runs from Montgomery County through Western Maryland, Mr. Delaney is lead sponsor of a bill to create a $750 billion infrastructure fund financed through bond sales[…]Obviously, the whole of the nation's unmet infrastructure needs (estimated by the civil engineers' society at $3.6 trillion) can't be financed this way, but it would certainly be helpful. Already, Mr. Delaney has attracted both Republican and Democratic co-sponsors. That shouldn't come as too great a shock since Republican leaders and President Barack Obama have both expressed interest in such a bank before. Kudos to Mr. Delaney, but he's got a big lift ahead, particularly given that the congressional track record on budgetary cooperation isn't good. But at least it's a sign that progress is possible. And given the sorry state of America's roads and bridges (not to mention dams, water pipes, electric grids, ports and airports), that would come as some relief.” – Editorial Board, 5/28/13, Baltimore Sun

“John Delaney, a freshman Democratic congressman, will test that proposition when he launches a bill designed with an eye both on what is economically useful and politically sellable. The Rebuild America Act would give companies that repatriate foreign earnings a tax break on whatever they invest in a new infrastructure fund. Unlike a public bank, the fund would underwrite bonds to fund state, local and municipal projects – there would be no new federal bureaucracy. It is hard to see how Republicans could object on substance to a bill that gave tax breaks to companies to improve US infrastructure.” – Edward Luce, 5/16/13, Financial Times

“A bill introduced by Democratic Representative John K Delaney of Maryland this week. The bipartisan bill - with 13 co-sponsors from the Republican and Democratic ranks - is devoted to improving the country's weakening infrastructure by luring corporations to contribute to the effort. […]Congressman Delaney's bill, which proposes that companies be allowed to repatriate their foreign earnings at a lower tax rate - as low as 8%, probably - if they use some of the money to buy new infrastructure bonds. The bonds, of which only $50bn will be sold, will raise about $750bn for infrastructure investment. With its bipartisan support and solid negotiation technique - a simple quid pro quo - the Delaney bill is likely to be successful, or at least should be. It is perhaps the first constructive answer to both a government and a corporate problem.” – Heidi Moore, 5/23/13, The Guardian