February 1, 2010 / 3:41 PM / in 8 years

Obama proposes $4 billion for infrastructure bank

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Monday proposed $4 billion to capitalize an infrastructure bank that would help finance priority transport, water, communications, and other big-ticket construction projects.

The budget plan for the next fiscal year also proposes to extend current funding outlays for massive transportation spending until March 2011.

The previous long-term program for spending on road and transit construction expired in 2009. Related projects are currently being funded through short-term budget extensions and billions of dollars in economic stimulus grants.

There has been little congressional interest for establishing a financing arm for infrastructure, which would be structured to attract private investment. But the Obama administration is mounting a new push as it seeks to change the way transportation construction and other projects are prioritized and funded.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert and John Crawley, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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