Buy America 2.0 Act Seeks to Close Key Infrastructure Funding Loopholes

Cathalijne Adams

Cathalijne Adams Digital Media Manager, AAM

Infrastructure Week 2019 concluded last week without any big infrastructure announcements — no surprise there. However, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are scheduled to meet with President Trump on Wednesday to deal with financing for a proposed $2 trillion investment in infrastructure.

Without a doubt, our nation’s deteriorating bridges, roads, water systems and transit are desperately in need of this investment. Indeed, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s infrastructure a D+ on its 2017 report card. And Americans agree that it’s well past time that our government concentrate on solutions — recent polling data finds that 81% of likely voters consider infrastructure investment to be a top policy priority.

But critical to the success of any infrastructure investment is the return of taxpayer dollars to America’s workers and communities rather than being sent overseas. Though current Buy America legislation mandates federally funded infrastructure projects utilize goods and materials from domestic sources, loopholes remain.

In an effort to strengthen Buy America and close these loopholes, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) introduced the Buy America 2.0 Act in the midst of this year’s Infrastructure Week.

“In America, our infrastructure is crumbling, and so is our middle class,” Boyle said. “When Congress moves to rebuild our infrastructure from our roads to our electric grid, we must do so in a way that boosts American workers and manufacturers, creating broad-based economic growth. That means using the high-quality U.S. steel, iron, and other materials made by hardworking Americans. The Buy America 2.0 Act is the only way to make sure that our federal investment in rebuilding our infrastructure is an investment in rebuilding the American Dream, too.”

Buy America 2.0 would extend Buy America domestic sourcing requirements to aviation and public transportation, foreign infiltration of which has recently presented alarming security risks. The bill already has attracted nearly two dozen cosponsors.

Despite President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” campaign promises, his executive orders so far have failed to offer any true mandates, encouraging the use of American-made materials rather than requiring it.  

Time will tell if Trump can finally put action to his rhetoric when it comes to infrastructure, but he’d be wise to attend to the concerns of the vast majorities of likely voters of both parties who support Buy America preferences for federally funded infrastructure projects — 80% of likely voters support Buy America, according to recent polling. Buy America 2.0 and similar bills are clearly aligned with voters’ wishes.

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Reposted from AAM
Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

He Gets the Bucks, We Get All the Deadly Bangs

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre has had better weeks. First came the horrific early August slaughters in California, Texas, and Ohio that left dozens dead, murders that elevated public pressure on the NRA’s hardline against even the mildest of moves against gun violence. Then came revelations that LaPierre — whose labors on behalf of the nonprofit NRA have made him a millionaire many times over — last year planned to have his gun lobby group bankroll a 10,000-square-foot luxury manse near Dallas for his personal use. In response, LaPierre had his flacks charge that the NRA’s former ad agency had done the scheming to buy the mansion. The ad agency called that assertion “patently false” and related that LaPierre had sought the agency’s involvement in the scheme, a request the agency rejected. The mansion scandal, notes the Washington Post, comes as the NRA is already “contending with the fallout from allegations of lavish spending by top executives.”

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Corruption Coordinates

Corruption Coordinates