Ohio's two U.S. senators, Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Rob Portman, are joining forces to pressure the Republican majority in the House to require the use of American-made steel and iron in an infrastructure bill.
Portman and Brown co-signed a letter calling on House and Senate leaders to restore the "Buy America" provision after it was removed from a compromise Water Resources Development Act bill in the House by Republican Speaker Paul Ryan. The Senate already approved the measure.
The letter said that "The American people spoke clearly in this past election that they want leaders who fight for the working class and who advance policies that create more jobs and grow the U.S. manufacturing sector."
Brown and Portman's letter was co-signed by 23 colleagues. Portman was the only Republican signer.
President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants an infrastructure spending campaign. In his speech Thursday night at a "thank you" rally in Cincinnati, Mr. Trump endorsed the concept of favoring American-made products.
“We will have simple rules when it comes to this massive rebuilding effort. Buy American and hire American. We can do it ourselves and that will be our new mantra," he said.
“American tax dollars shouldn’t be spent on Chinese steel. American infrastructure should be built with American products that support American jobs. Period.”
“We must ensure that tax dollars will continue to be invested in America, maximizing American jobs. Provisions like this one have already increased production, jobs, and capital investment in the steel industry, and it is critical that we continue policies that simultaneously improve our infrastructure and our economy.”
Northwest Ohio's two Republican congressmen, Bob Latta of Bowling Green and Jim Jordan of Urban, have not issued statements on the status of the "buy America" provision.