Congressman French Hill Statement on Infrastructure Meeting with Secretary Chao

WASHINGTON – Today, after meeting with Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) released the following statement on possible infrastructure spending proposals:

“This morning, I met with Secretary Chao to discuss our Nation’s many important infrastructure needs, such as highways, roads, bridges, waterways, and water irrigation. While I believe these projects to be of the utmost importance for encouraging economic growth, I expressed my frustration that much of the regulatory regime currently overseeing infrastructure spending creates significant delays and cost overruns at the expense of the taxpayer.

“During our visit, I made it known to her that I have serious reservations about some of the ideas that have surfaced on how to pay for these projects. I cautioned the secretary against what I believe to be very bad policy, and that is the idea of creating an infrastructure bank or any ‘wholly owned Government corporation’ to backstop or direct selection of infrastructure projects. This type of policy doesn’t work and ultimately would unfairly pick winners and losers in determining projects.

“In my view, a much more sensible approach would be to create a window whereby any American corporation seeking to repatriate money back to the United States may receive favorable tax consideration if they buy an eligible issue of locally underwritten and issued public securities that would then fund our many diverse infrastructure needs across the Nation.”