WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) slammed Washington leadership today for stripping Buy America rules from the final water infrastructure bill announced today. Buy America provisions in the Water Resources Development (WRDA) Act would have permanently changed the law to require the use of American-made iron and steel products in infrastructure projects. The provision passed the Senate overwhelmingly. But Republican leadership removed the Buy America language in a compromise package worked out with the House announced today.
“By stripping meaningful Buy America rules from the water infrastructure bill, Washington leadership is choosing China and Russia over Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin,” said Brown. “This was the first major test of whether Washington establishment Republicans would live up to President-elect Trump’s promises to put American products and American workers first – they failed, and American iron and steel workers will pay the price.”
The original Buy America rule in the Senate bill would have permanently amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to require American-made steel and iron be used in infrastructure projects funded by the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). Instead, Republican leaders stripped that language and replaced it with a one-year provision that is already in effect and does nothing to further ensure American steel and iron will be used in water infrastructure projects moving forward.