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Lipinski Leads Fight to Require Stimulus Funds to Be Spent at Home

 
Leads Over 50 Representatives in Calling On Leaders to Include Strong "Buy American" Provision

As Congress considers the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) was joined by Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) and 51 other members of Congress in a letter urging the addition of a stronger "Buy American" provision.  This would require that any money spent under this bill be used to buy American-made products whenever possible. 

"Congress is currently considering whether we will spend 825 billion - or more - American taxpayer dollars to get the economy moving again and put people back to work," said Lipinski, "Everyone should agree that these taxpayer dollars should be spent here at home. Wherever possible, Federal, state, and local governments, contractors and subcontractors should spend the stimulus grants to help American industries and American workers. 

"While construction jobs are guaranteed to stay here at home, much of the economic benefits of the proposed stimulus are not," continued Lipinski.  "So we must ensure that stimulus spending to repair roads, bridges, and waterways should go first to American steel and concrete.  When we spend money to modernize electrical grids or expand broadband internet, we should use American-made smart meters and fiber optics.  And when we dedicate funds to President Obama's plan for making health records standardized and electronic, we should make sure it creates software jobs for programmers here in the U.S., not in Bangalore."

Manzullo added, "Whether you support the stimulus bill or not, we should all agree tax dollars should focus on creating American jobs, not more jobs overseas. That's why I support this Buy American provision. It will ensure any spending in the stimulus bill will support 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 often waived.  Unless a strong "Buy American" provision is added to any economic stimulus bill, American industries, workers, and families will not reap the full benefits of the stimulus package.

"We need to make sure that this bill creates American jobs in America - not Chinese jobs in China," stated Lipinski. 

Click here to view the text of the letter.

(January 21, 2009) 

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