05.22.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s Buy America Reform Included in Senate’s Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation

A long-term commitment to use American made iron and steel in new water infrastructure projects

President Trump endorsed Baldwin’s Buy America Reform last year in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) passed bipartisan water infrastructure legislation that includes U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s “Buy America” reform, supported by President Trump, which makes a long-term commitment to American workers by requiring that all iron and steel used in new water infrastructure projects be American-made.

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

“I strongly believe American workers should build our infrastructure with American products, and taxpayers' money should not be spent to support foreign workers. We need to put Wisconsin manufacturers and workers to work rebuilding our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure and they deserve a solid, long-term commitment from Washington that rewards their hard work,” said Senator Baldwin. “I have earned the support of President Trump for my Buy America reform and I worked to make sure it is included once again in the Senate water infrastructure legislation. Now it’s important that the House make the same long-term commitment to American workers with a permanent Buy America standard for water infrastructure projects.”

In September 2016, Senator Baldwin’s Buy America standard was included in the Senate’s Water Resources Development Act, which passed with broad bipartisan support (95-3). However, House Speaker Paul Ryan stripped Senator Baldwin’s reform from the final water infrastructure bill on the House floor. The media reported that Speaker Ryan did so after the urging from “lobbyists for several large foreign steelmakers.”

Today, the Senate once again included Senator Baldwin’s reform in bipartisan water legislation, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, which passed the Senate EPW Committee today.

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 for all 50 states and territories. 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.