U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, visited Canton Friday to discuss his partisan manufacturing jobs bill and a longterm highway bill that would help fix 41 structurally failing bridges in Stark County. During his speech in the Meyers Lake Ballroom, where he was a guest of the Canton Rotary, he also touched on a trade war the U.S. is involved in now with South Korea and solutions to problems in Veterans Administration health care facilities.
In April, the bipartisan manufacturing jobs legislation that Brown and U.S. Sen. Roy Bunt, R-Missouri, introduced moved closer to becoming law. The manufacturing hubs bill, called the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, was passed out of committee during an executive session of the Senate Commerce Committee. The bill would establish a National Network of Manufacturing Innovation and create thousands of well-paying, advanced manufacturing jobs while enhancing the U.S. role as the world's leader in advanced manufacturing. Brown stated it would make available $300 million over a 10-year period to create manufacturing hubs, with the first to be located in Youngstown, the second in Chicago, the third in North Carolina, and the fourth in Columbus.
Brown also talked in support of a long-term transportation bill that would bolster America's infrastructure while also creating jobs. Oct. 1 is the deadline for federal funding for highway projects around the country, and Brown called for the bipartisan transportation bill to pay for needed upgrades to roads and bridges. In 2012, Congress passed MAP-21, a two-year version of the highway plan that included reforms intended to speed up construction while funding highway programs at roughly $50 billion per year. Without congressional reauthorization, Ohio has more than 100,000 jobs tied to building and maintaining Ohio's transportation infrastructure that will be in jeopardy. "The long-term highway bill is needed to help fix Stark County's 41 structurally deficient bridges," said Brown.
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