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Bipartisan bill would improve infrastructure in poor neighborhoods

By Ray Downs
Bipartisan bill would improve infrastructure in poor neighborhoods
William "Lacy" Clay, D-Mo., joined two Republicans Thursday to introduce a bill aimed at revitalizing poor neighborhoods by improving infrastructure. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

June 14 (UPI) -- A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill on Tuesday that aims to rebuild infrastructure in poor communities while reducing the national debt.

Introduced by Reps. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., William Lacy Clay Jr., D-Mo., and Ted Budd, R-N.C., the Generating American Income and Infrastructure Act would require the Agriculture Department to sell distressed assets on the open market and the Treasury to use the proceeds to fund infrastructure projects in communities below the national poverty line.

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The goal of the bill is to improve the communities' 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 improve poor economic conditions in urban black and Latino neighborhoods, as well as rural white neighborhoods.

"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."

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