Lipinski's Bill to Strengthen Buy American Laws Gains Momentum

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) announced today that the Populist Caucus - composed of 30 members of the U.S. House of Representatives - has endorsed legislation he authored to eliminate loopholes in existing Buy American laws and ensure that taxpayer money is used to purchase American-made products and support American jobs whenever possible. Congressman Lipinski introduced the Buy American Improvement Act of 2009, H.R. 4351, last month.

"Today's endorsement is a boost for American workers and taxpayers, especially in light of continued job losses," Congressman Lipinski said. "We cannot afford to needlessly allow taxpayer dollars to wind up in the pockets of workers in foreign countries when that money could be helping to create and support desperately needed jobs here at home. I'm looking forward to working with all my colleagues in the Populist Caucus to move this bill forward."

Concurrent with its introduction by Congressman Lipinski in the House of Representatives, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin introduced the bill in the Senate as S. 2890. Congressman Lipinski's leadership on this issue has already resulted in the addition of a Buy American provision to the jobs legislation that recently passed the House.

The Populist Caucus focuses on promoting the economic interests of middle-class Americans. It endorsed Congressman Lipinski's legislation as the government reported today that the economy lost 85,000 jobs in December and unemployment remains stuck at 10 percent.

"As today's jobs numbers show, America's Main Street families are still struggling," said Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa, chairman of the Populist Caucus. "The outsourcing of American jobs is a clear factor in continued unemployment. We have an obligation to create jobs in America and this legislation is essential to creating and retaining good-paying jobs for our middle-class families."

Congressman Lipinski's bill makes numerous improvements to the Buy American Act of 1933 to stop taxpayer money from being spent on products made in China and other foreign countries. Among other things, it will prevent abuse of the process for waiving long-standing Buy American laws. And it does so in a balanced manner, while maintaining reasonable and carefully defined exceptions and complying with America's trade obligations.

"We've had Buy American rules on the books for nearly eight decades - and for good reason," Congressman Lipinski said. "Americans' tax dollars ought to support American jobs. With this bill, I continue to fight for that simple, self-evident principle."

(January, 8, 2010)


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