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Obama to press Congress on infrastructure spending

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-3-31 8:53:24

US President Barack Obama will outline new measures to attract more private sector investment in infrastructure projects around the country, a senior administration official said on Friday.

The president will pitch his proposals in a speech Friday at Miami, Florida, trying to show that economy is still one of his top priorities.

Obama would renew his call for a national infrastructure bank capitalized with 10 billion dollars, a proposal he backed in his first term.

He would propose easing certain restrictions on private activity bonds which are issued by the local and state governments to fund infrastructure projects.

As a way to enhance the attractiveness of investment in US infrastructure and real estate to a broader base of private investors, Obama would also suggest that foreign pension funds are given tax-exempt status on their gains from selling US infrastructure and real estate assets. US pension funds are generally exempt from tax upon the disposition of the real property investments.

Furthermore, Obama will propose 4 billion dollars in new funding for two infrastructure programs that make grants and loans available for local and state governments across the country.

Obama made the private sector investment a key part of his State of the Union address last month. He said then he would propose a "Partnership to Rebuild America" that would attract private capital to upgrade what the US businesses need most.

The White House official said all the plans to be outlined by Obama in the speech are legislative proposals which need the nod of the US Congress.
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