NEW PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, discussed the importance of passing infrastructure bills now before Congress when he made a visit to the Gradall Industries plant in New Philadelphia on Thursday.

The senator highlighted his Buy America protections that he worked to include in the legislation. These protections will ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to buy and include American-made products for all federally funded infrastructure projects.

The package includes a bipartisan infrastructure bill for roads and bridges and a Democrats-only "social infrastructure bill."

Brown said passage of the bills will be "transformational" and help make America better.

He went on the plant tour with Mike Haberman, a former president of the company who is now executive vice president, industrial vehicles, for Alamo Group, Gradall's parent company; Wes Norman, president of the International Association of Machinists Local 1285 at Gradall; and other company employees.

Brown said the days of federal projects using tons of Chinese steel are over.

"If American tax dollars are going into American infrastructure, it's got to be American jobs and American workers, and it's as simple as that," he said, speaking to the news media following the tour. "And we haven't done that well enough. We've had presidents of both parties that have failed on that.

"We've had presidents of both parties promise to do infrastructure. Clinton promised it, Bush promised it, Obama promised it, Trump promised it. They all did something else. Finally we're getting serious about infrastructure. We're going to get this bill to (President) Biden's desk by Thanksgiving, and then things start moving."

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