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Congressman floats bill to sell bonds to pension funds and capitalize infrastructure bank

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., plans to introduce legislation in the next Congress that would sell federal bonds to private and public pension funds to finance a National Infrastructure Development Bank.

Though the details are tentative, the bill from Mr. Yarmuth, who will lead the House Budget Committee when the 116th Congress begins next month, calls for selling up to $300 billion of Rebuild America Bonds to pension funds. According to Mr. Yarmuth's communication director, Christopher Schuler, the bonds would have a 40-year maturity and must be held for a minimum of 10 years. The interest rate on the bonds would be 200 basis points above the rate of 30-year Treasury bills, currently 3.2%, he noted.

The National Infrastructure Development Bank would have a board comprised of seven members, each appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The infrastructure bank would make direct loans for public infrastructure projects.

President Donald Trump has been vocal in his desire to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, but so far no major infrastructure bill has been passed. The American Society of Civil Engineers has said the U.S. needs to invest $4.6 trillion in infrastructure through 2025.

According to Mr. Schuler, there is no definitive timeline for when Mr. Yarmuth will introduce the bill next Congress.