House Republicans: Include “Buy America” Provision!

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Press reports this week in Bloomberg and Salon state that House Republicans stripped a “Buy America” requirement out of their version of an infrastructure bill. The requirement stipulated the bill’s projects use iron and steel mined and produced in the United States; thus, it would greatly benefit American workers and the iron and steel industries.

The version passed by the Senate contained the “Buy America” requirement, so the two chambers will have to hash out a compromise.

The articles from both news outlets failed to explain the motivation for the House Republicans’ move. Both offered no comment from President-Elect Donald Trump nor even a mention they had asked but were not given comment or replied to, though both contained salvos from House Dems about Trump’s alleged silence. That’s deficient news reporting.

That said, I stand with the Dems on this one, as well as with Trump based on the statements he made during his quest for the presidency. I won’t condemn the House Republicans because I do not know yet their motivation. Perhaps they have spotted some hitch or glitch the Senate missed.

Make no mistake, though: I stand with the American worker and with our businesses and with our country. There can be little justification for steel bought from foreign countries, especially those with a track record of undercutting and hurting us: China and Russia. As a taxpayer, I am willing to pay more to keep my neighbors and fellow citizens employed, and the bill could contain a check on price gouging so native mercenary interests cannot plunder taxpayers.

So here’s a salvo across the bow of the House Republicans. I do not stand with you, necessarily, on your ideology or so-called “principles”. I believe in a rational maximum freedom defined by and directed to our common American interest, that which benefits the greatest number of American citizens in the most beneficial ways for the short and long terms.

I do not believe in an ivory tower ideal of maximum freedom of which only the wealthy and privileged and occasional lucky, hardworking peon can take advantage. When political, social, and economic freedom is maximized for all, the wealthy and privileged still enjoy the advantages they bring to the table. Those advantages must not negate the maximum freedom of the common citizen.

If citizens are truly free and fairly treated, as is their God-given right, the market will be free and fair.

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