Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF)

President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684) into law on Monday, November 15, 2021. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the historic legislation on November 6— nearly three months after the Senate advanced the package with a bipartisan vote in August. Throughout the summer, a bipartisan cohort of Senators ironed out the details for the bill, which is commonly referred to as the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.” The framework will introduce more than $550 billion in new infrastructure spending, coupled with reauthorizations of existing programs, for a total of $1.2 trillion of federal infrastructure investment over the next eight years.

Resources

New Bond Provisions

Several expansions of qualified private activity bonds (PABs) were also included in the new law:

  • Broadband Projects: Adds broadband as an allowable use for private activity bonds (PABs) based on the bipartisan Rural Broadband Financing Flexibility Act (S.1676). This would allow states to issue PABs to finance broadband deployment, specifically for projects in rural areas where a majority of households do not have access to broadband. These bonds will be subject to a state volume cap with a 75 percent exemption for private projects. The cap will not apply for government owned projects.  View Section 80401: PABs for Qualified Broadband Projects
     
  • Carbon Capture Technology: Allows carbon capture and direct air capture (DAC) technologies to be eligible for PAB financing based on the bipartisan Carbon Capture Improvement Act (S.1829). Carbon capture removes carbon dioxide from an emissions stream at a power plant or industrial facility, reducing emissions from energy-intensive industries. View Section 80402: PABs for Carbon Capture Facilities
     
  • Highway / Surface Freight Transfer Facilities: Increases the current nationwide cap of tax-exempt highway or surface freight transfer facility bonds from $15 billion to $30 billion as proposed by the bipartisan BUILD Act (S.881). Currently, $14,989,529,000 billion of the $15 billion cap has been issued or allocated. View Section 80403: Increase in National Limit for Highway / Surface Freight Transfer Bonds

Public-Private Partnership (P3) Provisions

  • Value for Money (VfM) Analysis Requirement on Certain Federal Loans: Requires the applicants of TIFIA and Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing loans for projects over $750 million in costs to conduct a VfM analysis to determine the feasibility of public-private partnerships as an alternative source of financing. The requirement is designed to encourage the exploration of P3 financing options for these projects. View Section 70701: Value for Money Analysis
     
  • DOT Programs on Asset Concessions Incentives: Provides the Transportation Secretary with $20 million per year to create a technical assistance and incentive program for state and local transportation agencies interested in exploring P3s, asset concessions, or other innovative financing options for infrastructure. View Section 71001: Asset Concessions
     
  • Requirements for P3 Transportation Projects: Requires public partner recipients of federal assistance for P3 projects over $100 M to disclosure and certify certain information relating to the private partner's satisfaction of the terms of the P3 agreement within 3 years of the projects opening. It also requires project sponsors receiving Federal loans or grants to include a detailed value for money analysis within the financial plan if the project sponsor intends to carry out the project through a public-private partnership. Such analysis is made an eligible expense under the Surface Transportation Block Grant program. View Section 11508: Requirements for Transportation Projects Carried Out Through Public-Private Partnerships