WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin re-introduced “Buy America” legislation that would help rebuild America’s crumbling drinking water infrastructure with American made iron and steel. She made the announcement at Neenah Foundry, a Wisconsin manufacturer that helps build our nation’s infrastructure.
“Wisconsin manufacturers and workers, like the men and women who work at Neenah Foundry, help build our nation’s water infrastructure and they deserve a solid commitment from Washington on a strong Buy America standard that rewards their hard work. This legislation provides that standard and its past time to get the job done because workers cannot afford to have government spending taxpayer dollars on foreign products. We must rebuild our country’s infrastructure with American labor and American products,” said Senator Baldwin. “The choice for the Republican establishment in Washington is clear: Do you stand with American manufacturers and workers or do you support spending taxpayer dollars on Chinese and Russian steel for American water infrastructure projects?”
Baldwin introduced the legislation last year and the ‘Buy America’ standard passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support (95-3). However, Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican House Leadership stripped it from the final water infrastructure bill. Senator Baldwin then introduced an amendment to restore her Buy America reform and demanded a vote. Majority Leader McConnell blocked a simple request to consider the amendment and obstructed a vote in the Senate.
“President Trump has talked a lot about his plan to ‘Buy American and hire American.’ I support that position. Now is the time for President Trump to decide if he will keep his promises by supporting this legislation, or will he go along to get along with Congressional Republicans who have embraced the status quo and blocked this legislation that puts in place a strong Buy America standard,” said Senator Baldwin.
Senator Baldwin’s Made in America Water Infrastructure Act, requires that 100 percent American-made iron and steel is used in water infrastructure projects funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is a federal-state partnership that acts as an infrastructure bank to help ensure safe drinking water all 50 states and territories. Between 1997 and 2015, the DWSRF program provided more than $27.9 billion in low interest loans to more than 12,000 projects. Senator Baldwin’s reform would require all of these projects to use American-made iron and steel. Eligible projects include improving drinking water treatment; fixing or replacing old pipes; improving the source of the water supply; replacing or constructing finished water storage tanks; or any other infrastructure projects needed to protect public health.