June 14 (UPI) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that hopes to rebuild infrastructure in poor communities while reducing the national debt.
Introduced by U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly, R-Pa., William Lacy Clay, Jr., D-Mo., and Ted Budd, R-N.C., the Generating American Income and Infrastructure Act, or GAIIN Act, would require the Department of Agriculture to sell distressed assets on the open market and then require the Department of Treasury to use the proceeds from those sales to fund infrastructure project in communities below the national poverty line with the goal of improving their economic viability.
“Even in this time of historically strong economic growth, some of our country’s poorest communities are still waiting for significant infrastructure improvements,” Kelly said in a statement.
The bill is designed to impact urban black and latino neighborhoods, as well as rural white neighborhoods that suffer from economic distress.
“This innovative, bipartisan bill offers a creative way to help our poorest neighborhoods gain employment and critical investments in long-delayed infrastructure projects,” Clay said. “It is also fiscally responsible by taking distressed USDA assets and putting them to work to close the deep disparities that have deprived many urban areas of the vital infrastructure dollars needed to attract new jobs, new businesses and future growth.”