Brown, Baldwin, Casey Introduce Buy America Amendment To Water Infrastructure Bill, Call On Republican Leaders To Take Action

Republican House leadership removed Buy America, which previously passed the Senate by 95-3

Senators call on Republican leaders to reinsert provision or schedule immediate vote on amendment

Category: Investment, Water


WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 6, 2016 (ww.waternewswire.com) U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced that they will introduce a 'Buy America' amendment to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) in the Senate and are calling on Republican leaders to add the provision back into the final bill.

Yesterday, Republican House leadership announced they removed the Buy America reform from the House-Senate compromise bill – even after the Senators led a letter demanding Buy America remain in the infrastructure bill. Stripping the Buy America provision will allow foreign companies to continue undercutting the American steel industry and its 1 million workers nationwide.

The Buy America reform could be added back into WRDA before the House votes on the bill later this week. If this does not occur, the Senators are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on the amendment when WRDA gets to the Senate.

"American tax dollars should go toward American-made steel that supports American jobs, and that's what we are fighting for," said Senator Brown. "This was the first major test for President-elect Trump's promises to put America first and it failed because Washington establishment Republicans chose China and Russia over Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. While President-elect Trump remains silent, we will continue to fight for American jobs."

"By removing my Buy America standard, Speaker Ryan and House Republicans embraced the status-quo in Washington," said Senator Baldwin. "Our American manufacturers and workers deserve a solid commitment from us and I'm not giving up this fight to build a made in America infrastructure. The choice for the Republican establishment in Washington is clear: Do you stand with American workers or do you support spending taxpayer dollars on Chinese and Russian steel for American water infrastructure projects?"

"Removing Buy America from this legislation will undermine our workers and make it harder for businesses who do want to create jobs at home," said Senator Casey. "Congressional Republicans should stop blowing hot air about their claims to support workers and actually do something that will- reinsert Buy America into this bill."

Last Thursday night in Cincinnati, on the first stop of his "Thank You Tour," Trump said his infrastructure plan would follow two simple rules: "Buy American and hire American. We're going to do it ourselves."

President-elect Trump has remained silent about the Republican House leadership stripping the Buy America reform from the water infrastructure legislation.

The Buy America standard in WRDA had already passed the Senate in September with broad bipartisan support before Republican House leadership stripped it from the final water infrastructure bill released yesterday.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 6, 2016 (Investorideas.com Newswire) U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) slammed Washington leadership today for stripping Buy America rules from the final water infrastructure bill announced today. Buy America provisions in the Water Resources Development (WRDA) Act would have permanently changed the law to require the use of American-made iron and steel products in infrastructure projects. The provision passed the Senate overwhelmingly. But Republican leadership removed the Buy America language in a compromise package worked out with the House announced today.

"By stripping meaningful Buy America rules from the water infrastructure bill, Washington leadership is choosing China and Russia over Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin," said Brown. "This was the first major test of whether Washington establishment Republicans would live up to President-elect Trump's promises to put American products and American workers first – they failed, and American iron and steel workers will pay the price."

The original Buy America rule in the Senate bill would have permanently amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to require American-made steel and iron be used in infrastructure projects funded by the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). Instead, Republican leaders stripped that language and replaced it with a one-year provision that is already in effect and does nothing to further ensure American steel and iron will be used in water infrastructure projects moving forward.

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