Seeking to stretch federal public-works dollars, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has proposed legislation to create a federal infrastructure bank, called the American Infrastructure Financing Authority, to help fund transportation, water and energy projects. Under Kerry’s bill, introduced on March 17, the bank would have $10 billion in initial federal funding. He estimates that could stimulate up to $640 billion in private and other non-federal investment over 10 years.

The Obama administration’s 2012 budget proposal includes an infrastructure bank, funded at $30 billion over six years but limited to transportation projects. It would provide grants and loans. Kerry’s bank would issue loans and loan guarantees but not grants.