Republicans Remove ‘Buy America’ Clause From Water Bill

Republicans Remove 'Buy America' Clause From Water Bill

In early December the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives stripped the "Buy America" provision from a bill that will involve almost $12 billion worth of iron and steel products to be used in water infrastructure projects in Flint, Michigan and elsewhere in this country.

According to the Daily Kos, Sen. Sherrod Brown blasted the Republicans, saying, "By stripping meaningful Buy America rules from the water infrastructure bill, Washington leadership is choosing China and Russia over Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 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."

Brown is joined by Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania in trying to put the provision back in the bill, which authorizes dozens of infrastructure projects throughout the country. The bill is on track to pass the House this week.

Roy Houseman, a legislative representative for the United Steelworkers, said, "From our end it's a little baffling. It's a program that's been really successful and it has bipartisan support. We're just very confused by the Speaker, who's not listening to the rest of his caucus."

This brings to mind the conflict noted during the recent presidential campaign that involved Donald Trump's use of steel from China to build his skyscrapers rather than American-made steel products. It seems this conflict will be on-going as we move into the Republican-dominated Congress and the presidency of Donald Trump, who promised more business for American companies and jobs for American workers.