The Seattle City Council passed a resolution urging the federal government to create a National Infrastructure Bank which would help repair the country's aging infrastructure and build modern transit, affordable housing, and so forth.
SEATTLE – Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) celebrated the Seattle City Council’s passage of a resolution requesting the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB). The Council’s resolution supports the federal Legislation (HR 3339) to create a National Infrastructure Bank. If created, the NIB would lend $5 trillion nationally to repair the country’s crumbling infrastructure. Crucial priorities include affordable housing, high-speed rail, water projects to address drought, and more.
“Given the important and direly needed projects and jobs that the NIB could fund in the City of Seattle and around the nation, I am proud Seattle City Council is adding its support to the growing list of cities, counties, states, unions, and national organizations,” said Budget Chair, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. “The bipartisan, nation-spanning support includes half the states in the nation with the addition of Washington State, thanks to leadership from Senator Hasegawa this year. I hope this growing momentum tips the balance in DC so we finally can see the NIB passed.”
Nationally, the bank would function like a traditional commercial bank, but focus its investments on projects that create enduring public benefits. It would provide the resources to repair bridges in disrepair, retrofit buildings for earthquakes, build world-class transit, and beyond. The projects spurred by the bank would create 25 million new jobs, all of which pay the local prevailing wage. Investments would also target low-income communities, both urban and rural, to address deep-seated inequities.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to add my support to the growing movement calling for a publicly-controlled national bank,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, District 1. “I appreciate the persistence of advocates, as well as their efforts to help solve Seattle’s largest infrastructure challenges.”
Locally, the NIB would help build deeply affordable housing to alleviate Seattle’s homelessness crisis, replace the city’s aging bridges, repair potholes, modernize water pipes, expand mass transit, and construct high-speed rail. Except for a small appropriation from Congress to get started, the NIB will pay its own way – it will not create any new federal debt, nor require any new federal taxes.
“We currently sit in an untenable position. Our infrastructure is crumbling and we have no way to finance maintenance without resorting to regressive schemes, let alone fund new projects to prepare for the future,” wrote Washington State Senator Bob Hasegawa, 11th LD. “If we want to free ourselves from financial bondage to big Wall Street banks and be able to actually build for our future, the NIB is the best, and only alternative we have right now.”
The Council’s resolution closely mirrors the State legislature’s SJM 8001, sponsored by Senator Bob Hasegawa, which enjoyed bipartisan support. By passing the legislation this week, the Seattle City Council joins the Washington State Legislature, 24 other states, 38 city or county councils, 16 National organizations, and 20 labor federations and councils supporting the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank.