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Boyle and Jobs for America Task Forces Introduce Sweeping “Buy America” Infrastructure Bill

March 5, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley (NY-14), Vice Chair Linda Sánchez (CA-38), and ten fellow co-chairs of the Democratic Caucus Jobs for America Task Forces announced the introduction of H.R. 5137, the Buy America 2.0 Act, to require that all federally-funded infrastructure projects use materials made here in America. The legislation is supported by numerous labor organizations and coalitions including: the Alliance for American Manufacturing, United Steelworkers, BlueGreen Alliance, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, and Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

“We face an infrastructure crisis of historic proportions. Although it’s reassuring to see bipartisan agreement about the need to address this pressing challenge, a truly American infrastructure proposal must boost American workers,” said Congressman Boyle, the bill’s lead sponsor. “I know this firsthand. Hundreds of steelworkers in my district face layoffs due to low demand from the transportation and infrastructure sector. I am proud to fight for them in Congress, and to fight for legislation to boost demand for quality steel, iron, and other materials made here at home by American workers. Despite all the talk, the President’s infrastructure plan was silent on Buy America. Actions speak louder than words. This common-sense legislation is the only way to make sure that our federal investment in rebuilding our infrastructure is an investment in rebuilding the American Dream, too.”

“Any infrastructure plan must benefit both Americans who use our public works and American workers. This bill will encourage the use of American-made materials in critically needed infrastructure projects, and in doing so, grow our workforce at home,” said Chairman Crowley. “I want to congratulate Congressman Boyle and the co-chairs of the Jobs for America Task Force for their leadership and for creating new opportunities for American workers.”

“The United States cannot meet the challenges of the 21st century with a 20th century infrastructure,” said Vice Chair Sánchez. “Democrats continue to call for a substantial long-term investment to repair our aging bridges, roads, railways, and ports that will grow our economy and create American jobs. This legislation, led by Congressman Boyle and the co-chairs of the Jobs for America Task Force, is an important step to ensure a reliable infrastructure system for our country.”

“America’s working families need a guarantee that their tax dollars will be used to create good jobs here in the United States. By requiring the use of domestic iron and steel across a wide array of infrastructure projects, the Buy America 2.0 Act will put American workers back on the job rebuilding our nation,” said Larry I. Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department. “As Congress turns its attention toward infrastructure, we see this legislation as an important step forward and applaud Rep. Boyle for his leadership.”

The Democratic Caucus Jobs for America Task Forces bring together House Democrats in a collaborative setting to share ideas, engage with the American people, discuss policy initiatives, and hear from experts in order to create a jobs-focused legislative agenda that will boost American families and strengthen our economy. The effort is focused on creating opportunities for job growth, boost hardworking families, and give every worker the opportunity to achieve the American dream by developing legislation focused on investing in key industries, restoring worker benefits, removing barriers to help workers find stable and well-paying jobs, helping our veteran communities transition to the workforce, and identifying jobs of the future. The Buy America 2.0 Act is the first in a series of legislation the Task Forces are rolling out in response to ongoing listening sessions and agenda setting.

Boyle, Crowley, and Sánchez are joined on the bill by fellow Democratic co-chairs of the Jobs for America Task Forces Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), and Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), as well as Pete Visclosky (IN-01), Vice Chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.