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Fighting for "Buy American" Requirements


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On August 23, 2012, the Economic Policy Institute released a report that detailed the costs of our trade deficit with China since 2001. The damage is shocking, with an estimated 2.7 million U.S. jobs eliminated or displaced from 2001 to 2011. Even more dramatic is that the author estimated that over 75 percent of those jobs losses were in manufacturing.

I am a firm believer that one of the major steps to turn around this devastating hemorrhage of manufacturing jobs to China and other foreign nations is to make investments in our domestic infrastructure. Further, when making that investment we must ensure that each and every taxpayer dollar is spent to create jobs in America. That is why I continue to fight for Buy American requirements.

Most recently, I joined Congressman Robert Aderholt in advancing strong Buy American requirements for wastewater and drinking water funding provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Specifically, the amendment requires that every project receiving funding through the State Revolving Funds for Clean Water and Drinking Water use iron and steel products produced in the United States. The amendment was included in the Fiscal Year 2013 Interior Appropriations Act, which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on June 28, 2012.

The EPA estimates that the nation must invest $390 billion over the next two decades to replace and maintain existing drinking water systems and build new ones to meet increasing demand. Additionally, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that there is an $11 billion annual shortfall in investments in wastewater infrastructure. Clean water is essential to the health of our environment, our economy, and our people, so I remain steadfast in my efforts to protect safe, accessible water supplies to our families and businesses.

Rest assured, I will use my position as Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus and Ranking Member on the Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee to invest in our domestic infrastructure and manufacturing sector for the good of Northwest Indiana and the nation as a whole.

I hope that you will take my record into consideration as you vote on Tuesday, November 6th.



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