Felix Rohatyn on an Infrastructure Investment Bank

  • Thursday, March 13, 2008
  • Ambassador Felix Rohatyn, a CSIS trustee, testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs about the need to revitalize investment in America’s aging and ailing infrastructure.

    Rohatyn, who with Senator Warren Rudman co-chaired the CSIS Commission on Public Infrastructure, testified on the potential of an infrastructure bank — one of the key recommendations of the Commission. "[O]ur commission proposed a new type of government effort to spur the rebuilding of public infrastructure — a National Infrastructure Bank that will refocus our national infrastructure policy on those projects that generate the most significant returns. Such a new facility would allow us to treat the renewal of our country’s roads and bridges, schools and water lines, airports and air traffic control systems, ports and water projects, as investments, and not simply as budget expenditures."

    The hearing was designed to inform the Committee on ideas for new methods to fund and prioritize infrastructure projects. Senators Chris Dodd and Chuck Hagel, who also gave introductory remarks at the hearing, have introduced a bill to create a $60 billion infrastructure investment bank. Dodd and Hagel also served as commissioners on the CSIS Public Infrastructure Commission, and drew inspiration from the indepently researched report to draft their bill.

    CSIS does not take positions on pending legislation.