Recent Press Releases

Thune Urges Action on Bipartisan Infrastructure Funding Plan

--Build America Bonds Act Would Create Jobs and Provide Important Funding to States--

September 8, 2008

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today called for the U.S. Senate to act on the bipartisan Build America Bonds Act (S. 2021), which he introduced last year along with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), as a way to address the growing number of critical transportation infrastructure projects that need funding across the country. The recent decline in federal fuel tax receipts, caused by record high gas prices, underscores the need for the Build America Bonds Act because it would provide $50 billion in supplemental infrastructure spending for states to complete vital transportation infrastructure projects.

"There are many roads and bridges in South Dakota and across the nation that are in need of repair or improvement," said Thune. "However, as Americans continue to change their driving habits because of high fuel costs, the user fees paid into the Highway Trust Fund have decreased. While Congress is working to pass an $8 billion infusion of funding to ensure that states receive the dollars they were promised as part of the 2005 Transportation bill, the Build America Bonds Act should be a central part of the long-term solution for addressing the serious infrastructure needs around the country.

"My bipartisan legislation gives Americans the opportunity to invest in our shared infrastructure future without raising taxes or increasing costs at the pump. The recent shortfall in gas tax receipts to the Highway Trust Fund underscores the need for Congressional action on the Build America Bonds Act, so that we do not face similar shortfalls in the future that could jeopardize the safety of the traveling public - not to mention delaying important transportation projects that are designed to reduce congestion and keep our economy running."

The $50 billion would be spent on various transportation projects across all modes of transportation including roads, bridges, transit, rail, and waterways. In lieu of interest, bond holders would receive tax credits. The bonds would be available to corporate and individual investors for purchase at different denominations, providing all Americans with the opportunity to invest in upgrading America's transportation infrastructure. In addition, funding under the Build America Bonds Act would not be earmarked by Congress and would flow directly to states who would decide how best to utilize the transportation funding for the projects of highest priority.

Senator Thune joined Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) as the main sponsors of the bill. Cosponsors include Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), and David Vitter (R-LA).