Last week, while visiting Wisconsin, President Trump was asked by local media if he supported Senator Baldwin’s Buy America legislation. President Trump said “I do,” and also said “I agree with her 100% percent.”
“Given the President’s support, we believe it is time for the Senate to act on S. 880—beginning with consideration in the Environment and Public Works Committee,” the Senators wrote. “Americans are tired of the status quo in Washington. We look forward to working with you to ensure that our nation’s drinking water infrastructure is built with American materials by moving this legislation through the Senate.”
Senator Baldwin was joined by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), in sending the letter.
Last September, the legislation’s provisions were included in the Water Resources and Development Act that passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support (95-3). However, in December Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican House Leadership stripped it from the final water infrastructure bill. Senator’s Baldwin, Brown and Casey introduced a ‘Buy America’ amendment in the Senate and called on Republican leaders to add the provision back into the final bill. Senate Majority Leader McConnell blocked a simple request to consider the amendment and obstructed a vote in the Senate.
Senator Baldwin recently reintroduced the legislation at Neenah Foundry, a Wisconsin manufacturer that helps build our nation’s infrastructure.
The Made in America Water Infrastructure Act requires that 100 percent American-made iron and steel is used in water infrastructure projects funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). The DWSRF is a federal-state partnership that acts as an infrastructure bank to help ensure safe drinking water in all 50 states and territories. Between 1997 and 2015, the DWSRF program provided more than $27.9 billion in low interest loans to more than 12,000 projects. This reform would require all of these projects to use American-made iron and steel. Eligible projects include improving drinking water treatment; fixing or replacing old pipes; improving the source of the water supply; replacing or constructing finished water storage tanks; or any other infrastructure projects needed to protect public health.
An online version of the letter is available here.