Today, Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Bruce Braley (IA-01), Peter King (NY-02) and Mike Thompson (CA-05) continued their push to ensure that the federal government only purchases U.S. flags made from 100 percent American-made materials by reintroducing the bipartisan All-American Flag Act.
Bustos said, "I strongly believe that American flags purchased with taxpayer money should be made here at home by Americans. During my recent veterans listening tour of Illinois, I heard time and again from our veterans that they were disappointed that far too many American flags were actually made overseas, in countries like China. I'm pleased to continue my push for American workers by introducing this bipartisan bill today that would ensure that taxpayer purchased American flags are made here in America."
Braley said, "It's simple -- Americans' tax dollars should be used to purchase flags made in the USA. Allowing the government to purchase flags from foreign countries is embarrassing to America's greatest symbol. There are many companies here in the US that proudly manufacture American flags, and the government should be purchasing flags from them, supporting American-made products, not importing flags from China."
King said, "It's sad that we have to introduce legislation to ensure that any American flag used by the government must be manufactured in this country. The alternative defies common sense."
Thomson said, "Every American flag the federal government buys should be made in America, by American workers with American products. At a time when our manufacturing sector is struggling and millions in our country are out of work, it is a slap in the face to all Americans to have their tax dollars spent on U.S. flags that are made overseas."
The All-American Flag Act would require the federal government to purchase flags that contain 100 percent American-made materials, entirely manufactured in the U.S. Current law requires the government to purchase flags made of only 50 percent American-made materials.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Data, in 2011 the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags was $3.6 million. Of that amount, $3.3 million of imported flags came from China.
Last week, Bustos continued her push for American jobs by fighting to ensure that all American flags are actually made in America by offering an amendment, that passed by a bipartisan voice vote, to the FY 2014 Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2217). The amendment was in response to concerns Bustos heard during her recent week-long veterans listening tour of Illinois and it would ensure that all American flags purchased with funds from the FY 2014 Homeland Security Appropriations Act are made here at home.
Video of Bustos' floor speech offering the amendment can be found HERE and can be downloaded HERE.
In April, Bustos introduced the American Jobs Matter Act, a common sense bill that would direct the federal government to notify applicants applying for federal contracts that it may consider the impact on American jobs when deciding which bids to accept. The government would then be able to consider these details when determining which bidder should receive the American taxpayer-funded government contract. Bustos' bill was incorporated into Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer's "Make It In America" initiative, which seeks to promote American workers, jobs, innovation, and infrastructure.
Braley first introduced the All-American Flag Act in 2010, where it passed the House unanimously. Then in 2011, it passed the Senate unanimously, but the House failed to schedule a vote for its companion bill, which was introduced by Braley.
A copy of the All-American Flag Act can be downloaded at the following link: http://1.usa.gov/1bxaYzW.