H. R. 4352
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 16, 2012
Mr. Higgins (for himself, Ms. Hahn, and Mr. Conyers) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
To direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a transformational infrastructure competitive grant program, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Nation Building Here at Home Act of
Transformational infrastructure competitive grant program
Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall establish a transformational infrastructure competitive grant program to assist infrastructure projects with the potential to significantly impact a metropolitan area, a region, or all of the United States.
In carrying out the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary may make a grant, on a competitive basis, to any of the following:
A State government.
A local government.
A transit agency.
A port authority.
A grant made under subsection (b) may be used for any of the following, if the Secretary determines that the project will significantly impact a metropolitan area, a region, or all of the United States:
A highway or bridge project eligible under title 23, United States Code, including interstate rehabilitation, improvements to the rural collector road system, the reconstruction of overpasses and interchanges, bridge replacements, bridge painting, seismic retrofit projects for bridges, and road realignments.
A public transportation project eligible under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code, including investment in a project participating in the New Starts or Small Starts programs that will expedite the completion of that project and its entry into revenue service.
A passenger or freight rail transportation project.
A port infrastructure investment, including a project that connects ports to other modes of transportation and improves the efficiency of freight movement.
An aviation infrastructure project.
A water infrastructure project.
With respect to a project described in paragraph (1)(F), the Secretary shall coordinate any grant for such a project with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Secretary of the Army (acting through the Chief of Engineers).
Applications and criteria for grant awards
To be eligible for a grant made under subsection (b), an entity described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of that subsection shall submit to the Secretary an application in such form, at such time, and containing such information as the Secretary determines appropriate.
Criteria for grant awards
Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue regulations specifying the criteria that the Secretary will use to make grants on a competitive basis under subsection (b).
The criteria specified by the Secretary under paragraph (2) shall include criteria for the consideration of—
whether there are financial commitments in place with respect to a proposed project;
the degree of certainty with respect to such financial commitments; and
whether such financial commitments are from non-Federal sources.
The Federal share of the cost of a project assisted with a grant made under subsection (b) may not exceed 100 percent of that cost.
In making grants under subsection (b), the Secretary shall ensure, to the extent practicable, that the grants—
are distributed geographically in an equitable manner;
address the needs of both urban and rural areas appropriately;
promote the training and employment of veterans, including by having applicable contractors provide to veterans a preference during the hiring and referral of laborers; and
are utilized in a manner that ensures an appropriate percentage of grant amounts are expended through small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals (as determined by the Secretary).
Applicability of title 40
Each project conducted using funds provided with a grant made under subsection (b) shall comply with the requirements of subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code.
None of the funds made available for a project under this Act may be used for the project unless all of the iron, steel, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.
Paragraph (1) shall not apply in any case or category of cases in which the Secretary finds that—
applying paragraph (1) would be inconsistent with the public interest;
iron, steel, or the relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities or to a satisfactory quality; or
inclusion of iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent.
If the Secretary determines that it is necessary to waive the application of paragraph (1) based on a finding under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a detailed justification for the waiver.
This subsection shall be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements.
Transparency and accountability
In carrying out the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—
take actions to ensure that grants made under subsection (b) are utilized as expeditiously and efficiently as possible;
make available to the public, on an appropriate Web site of the Department of Transportation, information on each grant made under subsection (b); and
submit to Congress, not later than 1 year after the first grant is made under subsection (b), and annually thereafter, information on grants made under subsection (b), including the progress made on projects funded by such grants.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out the program established under subsection (a) the following:
$250,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2013.
$250,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2014.
$250,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2015.
$250,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2016.
$250,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2017.
Nation Building Here at Home Financing Initiative
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, shall establish a Nation Building Here at Home Financing Initiative in accordance with this section.
Authority To issue bonds
In carrying out the initiative established under subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury may issue bonds. The aggregate face amount of bonds issued under this subsection may not exceed $300,000,000,000.
Characteristics of bonds
Bonds issued under subsection (b) shall be issued in such amounts, bear such rates of interest, and be subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe.
Use of bond proceeds
The Secretary of the Treasury shall make available to the Secretary of Transportation the proceeds resulting from bonds issued under subsection (b). The Secretary of Transportation may use such proceeds only to carry out the program established under section 2(a) of this Act.
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall submit to Congress a comprehensive report describing the transportation needs of the United States for each of the following:
The 20-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act.
The 30-year period beginning after the period described in paragraph (1).
The 50-year period beginning after the period described in paragraph (2).