Bipartisan Group in Both Congressional Chambers Push Buy America Bill

By Matthew McMullan
Apr 22 2021 |
Los Angeles Harbor 110 and Hollywood 101 freeway interchange traffic. Getty Images

The legislation, first introduced in 2019, would have domestic procurement cover even more federal infrastructure projects.

Yet another bipartisan Buy America bill has been introduced in Congress.

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This one is the Build America, Buy America Act, and it would expand coverage of domestic preference “Buy America” rules that govern federally funded infrastructure and public works projects. It’s a reintroduction – it was first introduced in the last Congress.

The same four senators – Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) – are cosponsoring it again. Its companion bill in the House is sponsored by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), Rick Aderholt (R-Ala.), and Frank Mrvan (D-Ind.).

“Without Buy America rules, we are allowing manufacturing to go elsewhere at the expense of taxpayers,” said Brown in a release. “It’s simple: American tax dollars should go toward American-made projects that support American jobs. Period.”

Just as we did in 2019, the Alliance for American Manufacturing is endorsing this bill, because creating a reliable market for domestic manufacturers via the rules governing government procurement is a good way to generate more manufacturing in the United States. Said AAM President Scott Paul:

“As Congress and the Biden administration work together to invest in America’s infrastructure, ensuring that it is ‘Made in the USA’ must be a top priority. That’s why the ‘Build America, Buy America’ Act introduced today by Senators Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman, Gary Peters, and Mike Braun, along with companion legislation in the House, is so important.

“If Buy America does not apply to all taxpayer-funded infrastructure projects, we’ll send that money overseas and leave good jobs on the table. We strongly endorse this legislation and urge Congress to swiftly adopt it. The result: More American jobs, increased demand at factories, and a stronger infrastructure.”

We’re happy to see that so many Members of Congress are pursuing Buy America legislation this session, especially given the potential for infrastructure investment. Buy America is smart policy.

This video we made is a lil’ dated, as it was produced while President Trump was still the president – but it’s a good explainer on Buy America. Check it out: