Senate votes today on Buy America amendment to transportation bill
The U.S. Senate is currently considering legislation to invest in America’s crumbling infrastructure.
To address the problem of tax dollars potentially being spent on imported steel and other manufactured goods for these federal projects, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have offered amendment #1819, which would improve transparency and close loopholes in U.S. “Buy America” laws.
Specifically, the Brown-Merkley amendment would:
• Transparency: Requires agencies to provide notification on a public website and a 15 day comment period before proposed waivers of Buy America preferences are granted – similar to current practice by FHWA.
• Reporting: Requires an annual report on the use of Buy America waivers for transportation projects, including justification for each waiver and the monetary value for each waiver.
• Closes the “Segmentation” Loophole: Ensures that public works projects receiving federal aid cannot be “segmented” to evade Buy America preferences by clarifying that Buy America applies to contracts carried out within the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment – same language in amendment to H.R. 7 by Rep. Cravaack (R-MN) passed in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
• Works with Trade Agreements: Requires that Buy America preferences be carried out in a manner consistent with our international trade agreements.
CALL your senators and urge them to "support the Brown/Merkley Buy America amendment."
**Click HERE to get the phone number for your senators or simply dial 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to them.
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