Lipinski Calls on President Obama to Buy American

As the House and Senate work to reconcile their differences on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) was joined by Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) and 34 other members of Congress in a letter urging the President to support "Buy American" provisions and to better enforce existing Buy American laws.

"Congress is considering a bill that would spend almost 1 trillion American taxpayer dollars to get the economy moving again and put people back to work," said Lipinski, "Every one should agree that whenever possible, federal, state, and local government contractors should spend the stimulus grants to help American industries and American workers."

"Whether you support the final stimulus bill or not," added Manzullo, "we should all agree that its main focus should be on creating American jobs, not more jobs overseas. A Buy American provision will help ensure that any ‘stimulus' spending supports American jobs."

The Buy American Act of 1933 requires the federal government to support domestic manufacturers and workers by purchasing American-made goods, but it is riddled with loopholes and is frequently waived, often for the vague reason that it is in the "public interest" to do so.  Lipinski has called on President Obama to recognize that it is in the public interest to Buy American and to crack down on illegitimate waivers by exposing them to public scrutiny. Lipinski has also fought to add a strong, transparent "Buy American" provisions in the Recovery Act.

"We may have only one chance to get this right," stated Lipinski, "and it would be devastating to borrow and spend this much money only to watch it go abroad while more American factories close and more Americans lose their livelihoods."

Click here to view the letter sent to President Obama.

(February 11, 2009)


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