Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a contender for the Democratic nomination for president, endorsed a bill introduced in August by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., which would establish a national infrastructure bank that could issue up to $60 billion of taxable tax-credit bonds to help finance publicly owned projects.
Obama mentioned the infrastructure bank idea — but not Dodd — in a Feb. 13 speech delivered in Wisconsin touting his economic agenda. According to the Library of Congress’ Thomas legislation tracking system, Obama became a co-sponsor of the Dodd bill on Feb. 14.
“I’m proposing a national infrastructure reinvestment bank that will invest $60 billion over 10 years,” Obama said in the speech. “And we’ll fund this bank by ending this war in Iraq.”
Officials with the Obama campaign did not return phone calls seeking additional comment.
Obama’s opponent in the Democratic race, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., became a cosponsor of the Dodd bill a day after the bill was unveiled, according to the Thomas system.
Obama also came out in favor of another proposal — backed by some Republicans and many Democrats, including Clinton, as well as municipal market groups — to increase the private-activity bond volume cap by $10 billion and allow housing finance agencies to issue tax-exempt bonds to refinance subprime mortgages. The MRB plan was included in materials given out by the Obama campaign detailing his economic proposals.