Obama Unveils New Initiative to Encourage Private Funding of Public Infrastructure

President Barack Obama speaks about transportation and an initiative to increase private sector investment in national infrastructure at the Port of Wilmington in Wilmington, Del. President Barack Obama speaks about transportation and an initiative to increase private sector investment in national infrastructure at the Port of Wilmington in Wilmington, Del. Jacquelyn Martin/AP

President Obama announced plans for a new infrastructure initiative Thursday to bypass congressional gridlock by promoting private investment in public projects.

Obama arrived in Wilmington, Delaware, where he held a press conference near a portion of highway I-495, which has been closed since last month. The bridge, which runs through the city and carries an estimated 90,000 vehicles per day, was closed after engineers discovered four support columns were tilting to the side. 

The Build America Investment Initiative will establish a committee to look for ways private businesses can more easily invest in American infrastructure projects. A new center at the Transportation Department will be tasked with the initiative. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew will oversee a committee within the center to help find ways to eliminate the barriers that private companies face when investing in public works projects. 

“The president’s visit and announcement today are a part of the administration’s continued push to highlight the importance of investing in our nation’s infrastructure so that we can build on the progress our economy is making by creating jobs and expanding opportunity for all hard-working Americans,” a White House official said in a statement

The trip comes two days after the House of Representatives passed a temporary measure that will continue to fund the Highway Trust Fund through next May, keeping nearly 200,000 people from being laid off, The Washington Post reported.

The Highway Trust Fund, which was established in 1956 to repair American roads and bridges through money raised by the federal gas tax, has continued to face financial hardships as vehicles increase their fuel efficiency standards.  

The temporary House measure raises money through an accounting loophole, raising corporate tax bills by allowing corporations to delay pension payments.Congress doesn't appear close to agreeing on a permanent solution to the problem. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.