Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano joined her fellow Democrats on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in unveiling the Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011 (H.R. 3533), a bill which would create U.S. jobs by requiring all materials used in federal transportation and infrastructure projects to be made in America.
"It is time we brought manufacturing jobs back to America," Napolitano said. "For too long, U.S. firms have taken advantage of tax breaks and loopholes to outsource work to other countries, while working American families have been left behind. The Invest in American Jobs Act will ensure that all of our bridges, roads, and railcars will be built here in America, and that all of the funding for these critical infrastructure projects will be used to create and sustain American jobs."
* Loopholes in current "Buy America" requirements for federal projects have allowed the manufacturing of major transportation and infrastructure projects to be sent abroad.
* Democrats highlighted the recent replacement of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's East Span, a multi-billion dollar project in which loopholes allowed huge sections of the project to be outsourced to a Chinese state-owned company (http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2011-07/12/content_12883862.htm).
* The Invest in American Jobs Act closes these loopholes and requires all steel, iron, and manufactured goods used to construct highways, bridges, public transit systems, railways, and aviation infrastructure to be produced in the United States.
* It applies "Buy America" requirements to other transportation and infrastructure investments, including rail infrastructure grants, loans and loan guarantees, Clean Water State Revolving Fund grants, and Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants.
* It requires federal agencies to justify any proposed waiver of the Buy America requirements and requires public comment on any proposed waiver prior to it taking effect.
* One of the largest job-creation bills currently before Congress is a multi-year transportation reauthorization bill that will fund thousands of projects across the country. The passage of the Invest in American Jobs Act would ensure that these funds are used to create and sustain jobs in the American economy.