Lipinski Rebukes Census for Hurting American Workers by Buying Imports

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) issued the following statement on recent reports that the Census is purchasing promotional material manufactured overseas:

“The Census has some explaining to do, and so far it’s not providing much clarity. Our government should be complying not just with the letter but with the spirit of the Buy American Act. That’s especially true right now, in the middle of the worst economy in decades with 15 million Americans out of work. Blaming subcontractors or claiming the purchases are too small to matter isn’t going to cut it. American taxpayers are spending over $14 billion to pay for the census, including hundreds of millions on this communications campaign. If nothing else, the Census could write Buy American rules into its contracts with private vendors. While the Census claims it was trying to save money, it doesn’t save us any money to destroy American jobs by purchasing from foreign companies.”

Congressman Lipinski also sent the letter below to the Census Bureau objecting to its purchase of products made outside the United States. Congressman Lipinski has been a leader in Congress fighting to enforce existing Buy American rules and close loopholes that make it too easy for the federal government to purchase foreign-made products. For instance, he recently introduced the Buy American Improvement Act, H.R. 4351, to ensure that taxpayer money is used to purchase American-made products and support American jobs whenever possible. This legislation would specifically prohibit the practice of “segmenting” purchases --- dividing one large purchase up into many smaller purchases --- which is what the Census appears to be using to avoid Buy American requirements.

Click here to view text of the letter.

(April 16, 2010)


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