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A $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is on the line ahead of a vote scheduled for Thursday amid frustration from Progressive Democrats who want the party to reach pre-agreement on a broader package of climate and social protection .

The sprint towards passing a pair of bills that could total some $ 4.5 trillion in spending comes as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell Congress warned Tuesday that the Delta variant had slowed the US economic recovery.

In a new interview, Suzanne Shank – who heads one of the country’s leading municipal bond underwriters specializing in infrastructure projects – affirmed her support for the trillions in new spending, saying infrastructure improvements are coming to an end. would prove “invaluable” to the US economy.

“Any plan that helps our country get D-plus [infrastructure grade] It’s been so many years that I think we’ve just hit a C, ”says Shank, chairman and CEO of investment bank Siebert Williams Shank. “In order for us to be competitive on a global scale, we need to reach the AB range.

“[It] is going to be invaluable for our country and for our economy, ”she adds.

Faced with a loss of support for the Progressive House Democrats’ $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that could hinder passage, some Republican senators and business groups have pleaded with House Republicans to back the measure , The New York Times reported.

But parliamentary minority leader Kevin McCarthy urged members to oppose the bill, saying it is inextricably linked to a $ 3.5 trillion package that goes beyond infrastructure projects traditional, including support for home health care and clean energy incentives.

The $ 1 trillion bipartisan bill offers a host of spending measures focused on building new infrastructure or maintaining old infrastructure, including $ 110 billion in new funds for roads and bridges as well as $ 39 billion for public transit upgrades.

The infusion of federal funds would likely encourage localities to issue municipal bonds, causing more investment, Shank said.

“We hope to see municipalities take advantage of the infrastructure bill – they will probably have to issue more bonds to match some of the funding from the federal level,” she said.

“We therefore think that overall, it will be very positive to supply and obviously strengthen our municipalities in the future,” she adds.

Forecasters disagree on the anticipated economic impact of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. A crowd of economists told the Wall Street Journal last month they expect a “limited” impact on US growth. Meanwhile, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, written in july that increased investment in infrastructure “has significant macroeconomic benefits”.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on COVID-19 at an event in the South Court auditorium on the White House campus on Monday, September 27, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

Shank started his career as a civil engineer, before realizing that it could have more of an impact on the financing of projects than on their design.

After earning an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, she co-founded investment bank Siebert Cisneros Shank, later to become Siebert Williams Shank.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance, she said the wave of federal spending would allow communities to focus on improving their infrastructure instead of fixing it.

The infrastructure package “will make our municipalities stronger in the future so that they do not make emergency repairs,” she said.

“Rather than large investments that will have an impact and a positive impact on our infrastructure in the future,” she adds.

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