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This memorial urges the United States Congress to pass the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2020, to create a national infrastructure bank to finance infrastructure projects.
The memorial cites from professional reports that billions of dollars are needed to restore the nation’s infrastructure, but that many projects are unfunded. New Mexico’s roads are in poor conditions, many bridges are structurally deficient and many dams have high hazard potential. The memorial also states how much it would cost to bring drinking water infrastructure to a state of good repair, how many students in New Mexico lack internet at home, the rate of poverty and child poverty in New Mexico. The memorial states that a new National Infrastructure Bank (Bank) could help finance much of the state’s infrastructure maintenance and improvements and could provide assistance to hire workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Such a Bank would exchange existing Department of Treasury debt for preferred stock in the Bank and would require no new federal debt. This Bank would also pay interest of two percentage points about the Treasury yield, perform as a traditional commercial bank, provide financing for loans for infrastructure projects only, and loan $4,000,000,000,000 to states, cities, and counties to address the infrastructure crisis of the nation. The Bank’s board of directors would be composed of engineers, experts and local officials, and the Bank would regularly report all transactions to the U.S. Congress. The Memorial provides historical context for such a Bank, stating that the last such bank helped bring the U.S. out of the Great Depression, and this Bank is expected to grow the economy as did its predecessor bank. House Resolution 6422 is the National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2020 and creates a four-trillion-dollar bank authorized to invest in infrastructure projects. The Memorial states that other state legislators and organizations have endorsed this resolution, including the Rio Arriba Board of County Commissioners. Copies of the memorial would be given to the New Mexico congressional delegation and to all members of Congress.
Position: Oppose Priority: Low
ICBA/NM opposes support for the National Infrastructure Bank as called for in H.R. 6422 that is before the U.S. Congress. Once established, such a bank would advocate relentlessly for additional powers to assure its longevity and survival. History clearly indicates that public banks founded for narrow, specialized purposes inevitably expand beyond their original scope. Credit unions and the Farm Credit System have expanded well beyond their original limitations and now use their tax exemption to unfairly compete directly with tax-paying community banks. In this instance community banks across the country - and specifically here in New Mexico - are capable of and interested in providing financing for many of the projects delineated in Senate Memorial 2.