WASHINGTON, D.C. —In advance of the July 4th holiday, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA)—the authors of the All-American Flag Act, which would require the federal government to purchase 100 percent made-in-America flags—urged the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to move the bill forward so it can be brought to the House floor for a vote.

“Under current law, the American flags that fly from federal buildings—on July 4th and every day of the year—may be up to fifty percent foreign-made. Many American companies, including Annin and Company in Coshocton, proudly produce the American flag right here in the United States,” Brown said. “With strong bipartisan support in the Senate, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee should move to discharge the All-American Flag Act and send it to the House floor for a vote. We should do all we can to support American manufacturing and job creation, especially when it comes to our most treasured of patriotic symbols—the American flag.”

“It’s just common sense: Americans’ tax dollars should be used to purchase flags made in the USA,” Braley said. “The Senate has agreed in a bipartisan vote. Now, it’s time for the House to act. I urge the Oversight Committee to protect America’s greatest symbol and support manufacturers right here in the United States by immediately considering this bill.”

The All-American Flag Act unanimously passed the U.S. Senate in July 2011, but the House of Representatives has failed to schedule a vote for the companion bill, H.R. 1344, which was introduced by Rep. Braley. The bill must be discharged by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in order to be considered by the full House. Annin and Company, founded in 1847, currently employs more than 500 workers nationwide. Last Congress, the All-American Flag Act passed the House unanimously.

The manufacturing and distribution facility for the nation’s oldest and largest producer of American flags, Annin and Company, is located in Coshocton, Ohio. The federal government is currently required to purchase flags made from 50 percent American-made materials; Brown and Braley’s bill would require the government to buy flags that are entirely produced with American-made materials.

The text of the letter is below.

The Honorable Darrell Issa
Chairman
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Elijah Cummings
Ranking Member
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
2471 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Cummings:

As we approach July 4th, we are reminded of the importance of the American flag. Adopted 235 years ago, our flag will forever be a symbol that reinforces our nation’s commitment to freedom and democracy. Our flag stands proudly outside each federal building and it solemnly shrouds the casket of each fallen servicemember as they return home to a grateful nation.

Given the American flag’s importance, we strongly believe that U.S. flags bought by the United States Government should be produced in America and consist only of American-made materials. Unfortunately, current law enables the government to purchase flags made of only 50 percent American-made materials. We owe it to American workers and manufacturers to change this law.

That is why we introduced the All-American Flag Act. This bill would require the federal government to purchase flags that contain 100 percent American-made materials. In the 111th Congress, both of you supported this legislation when it was passed out of the Oversight Committee. The bill was later adopted by voice-vote in the House. Unfortunately, the Senate did not follow the House’s lead and adopt this legislation at that time. While the Senate unanimously passed the All-American Flag Act last July, the House has yet to have the opportunity to vote on this legislation in the 112th Congress.

American flags should be made in America using American products. Allowing the government to purchase flags with foreign-made materials is a disservice to our country. As the two primary authors of this legislation, we ask that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee discharge the bipartisan, Senate-passed version of the All-American Flag Act so it can be brought to the House floor for a vote. Now is the time to see that this legislation is signed into law.

Thank you for your attention to our request. We ask that you please reply to our letter within 10 business days with an answer on whether or not the Committee will discharge this commonsense, bipartisan legislation. Please feel free to contact either of us if we can provide further assistance.

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