by Bryan Grote
I’ve been following so-called National Infrastructure Bank and P3 proposals at the federal level for many years, including before the NSTIFC (Financing Commission) report, which addressed them, to some extent. Generally, I have agreed with the observations that many of the P3 proposals are financing solutions chasing funding problems and do not focus sufficiently on the long-term benefits of private operation and maintenance. The Brookings paper acknowledges that P3s are varied, often complicated arrangements that have to be tailored for state and local projects. And I’m sympathetic to the desire to accelerate and streamline the use of P3s by having some entity provide more technical assistance to project sponsors. But I’m skeptical that a federal P3 unit (in OMB or elsewhere) is the right answer.