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Senate Passes Franken-Cosponsored Amendment to Bolster Iron Range Economy

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Today, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) cosponsored to bolster the economy on Minnesota's Iron Range.

The amendment would ensure that more iron and steel produced in the United States is used in the building of water infrastructure by extending Buy America provisions to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that passed the Senate today.

"We should be using American-made materials when we build infrastructure in this country, and that includes using steel made with iron ore from Minnesota's Iron Range," said Sen. Franken. "Passing this amendment today-and the Water Resources Development Act that it became a part of-ensures that more materials produced in this country will be used in the building of water infrastructure projects."

For many years, Buy America provisions have established the basic principle that when we spend federal taxpayer dollars on public infrastructure projects, American businesses and workers should do the work. Backed by an open and competitive market-driven process, Buy America rules have provided the foundation for millions of miles of roads, bridges, light rail and subways, and millions of good-paying jobs.

The amendment expands those current standards for roads, bridges, and rail to cover WIFIA (Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act), federally financed water infrastructure projects.

The amendment was introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

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