Bustos, Jones Introduce Bipartisan “Buy America” Legislation to Create Jobs, Improve Infrastructure

Bipartisan Legislation Would Ensure that Iron and Steel Used for Water Infrastructure Projects is Made in America

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03) introduced the bipartisan Buy America for Drinking Water Extension Act. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congresswoman Bustos has consistently advocated for “Buy America” provisions, and introduced similar legislation in the 114th Congress. This bipartisan legislation would create jobs and grow the economy by ensuring that all iron and steel products used for projects in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) are made entirely in the United States.

Last year, Congresswoman Bustos worked to help the city of Galesburg secure a $4 million forgivable loan to replace private lead water pipes through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. As more communities seek to get lead piping out of their water infrastructure system, she will be pushing to make sure it’s done in a way that helps create more good-paying jobs in the American steel and iron industries.

“President Trump made clear that his Administration would make ‘Buy America’ requirements a top priority, so I am hopeful that Republicans in Congress will hold up their end of the bargain and allow a vote on this job-creating legislation,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “As our nation works to get lead out of our drinking water supply, I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t use this as an opportunity to create more good-paying American jobs in the iron and steel industries. I’m proud to join Congressman Jones in this bipartisan effort, and I will continue to fight for Illinois’ manufacturers and working families.”

“U.S. taxpayers’ money should not be spent on foreign materials when American materials are readily available,” Congressman Jones said. “It is time to put America first.”

“Expanding Buy America requirements permanently to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund will ensure that the critical investments in America’s drinking water infrastructure will support and create jobs here at home,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of BlueGreen Alliance. “Our water drinking systems are in critical need of repair.  Ensuring that federal investment in these systems is contingent on Buy America domestic content requirements will provide family-sustaining jobs, support American manufacturing, and boost the American economy.”   

Many infrastructure projects are subject to “Buy America” provisions that require the use of American-made iron and steel. Last year, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WINN) Act, which created a “Buy America” provision for the DWSRF for Fiscal Year 17. The Buy America for Drinking Water Extension Act would make the provision a permanent requirement.

The Buy America for Drinking Water Extension Act will also be included in Rep. Dan Lipinski’s Buy American Improvement Act. This legislation will strengthen and expand existing Buy America requirements across a wider range of infrastructure projects.

Original co-sponsors of the legislation include Representatives Walter B. Jones (NC-03), Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Julia Brownley (CA-26), David Cicilline (RI-01), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Michael Doyle (PA-14), Bill Foster (IL-11), John Garamendi (CA-03), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Rick Nolan (MN-08), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).