By Elvia Malagon
U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., introduced a bill last week that would require the government to use U.S.-made steel for public projects.
The American Steel First Act of 2013 was sent to the committees of the House Armed Services, the House Homeland Security and the House Transportation and Infrastructure. The bill first must pass through a committee before being heard in the House of Representatives.
The bill would require the government to use iron and steel made in America for infrastructure projects, according to a news release from Visclosky's office.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., who is part of the Congressional Steel Caucus with Visclosky, co-sponsored the bill.
"With the nation facing trillions in needed infrastructure development, using domestic top-of-the-line iron and steel produced right here in the United States will not only ensure the highest quality materials are used in the next great American building boom but also will keep all the jobs here at home," Murphy said in a prepared statement.
A similar bill was introduced by Visclosky and Murphy in May 2011, but it never made it past the committee stage, according to the website Govtrack.us. The bill also was introduced in June 2008 and January 2009, but the bill was never seen past the committee stage.
The previous bills would require federal agencies to use American-made steel and iron for the construction or repair of public buildings, according to the 2011 version of the bill. The bill provided exceptions such as when American-made steel or iron would increase the overall project's budget by more than 25 percent.