U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Calls on Speaker Ryan and the House to include permanent ‘Buy America’ commitment in final water infrastructure legislation

Contact: press@baldwin.senate.gov, 202-224-6225

With the House and Senate working on final water infrastructure legislation, Baldwin says, “Don’t let lobbyists for foreign steel makers water down a strong and permanent Buy America standard.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the House working this weekend to finalize water infrastructure legislation, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today called on Speaker Paul Ryan and the House to keep a permanent Buy America standard in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The Senate version of the water infrastructure legislation includes Senator Baldwin’s permanent Buy America requirement that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 22, 2018. However, it is not included in the House legislation.

The last time WRDA was reauthorized, a permanent Buy America commitment was included in the Senate but Speaker Ryan and House Republican leadership stripped it from the water infrastructure bill that would eventually pass into law. The Hill reported that Speaker Ryan was“actively pushing to strip the provision from the bill” and did so after the urging from, “lobbyists for several large foreign steelmakers,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“I strongly believe American workers should build our infrastructure with American products, and taxpayers’ money should not be spent to support foreign workers. Our American manufacturers and workers deserve a permanent Buy America pledge from Washington that rewards their hard work. Right now, they don’t have this pledge and we need to change that so we are supporting American businesses and our workers here at home,” said Senator Baldwin. “My message to Speaker Ryan and the House is simple – don’t let lobbyists for foreign steel makers water down a strong and permanent Buy America standard.”

Last week, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to President Trump calling on him to back up his words with action on a permanent Buy America commitment in final legislation that goes to his desk. In her letter to President Trump, she urged him to call on Speaker Ryan and the House to include a permanent Buy America commitment in the legislation that goes to his desk.

On April 18, 2017, while visiting Kenosha, local media asked President Trump if he supported Senator Baldwin’s permanent Buy America standard, the Made In America Water Infrastructure Act. President Trump said “I do,” and also said, “I agree with her 100 percent.”

“You need to back up your words with action. I’m proud to have earned your support for my Buy America reform and now is the time to keep your promise to workers in Wisconsin and across this country. I again urge you to make sure that the WRDA legislation that reaches your desk includes a permanent Buy America pledge that requires that our nation’s drinking water infrastructure is built with American workers and American-made materials,” Senator Baldwin wrote to President Trump.

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