Lipinski aims to ensure highway-funding bill's Buy America provisions retained
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) teamed up recently to strengthen and preserve several Buy America provisions in the recently passed six-year surface-transportation reauthorization bill, which must go through the conference-committee process to reconcile House and Senate versions.
Lipinski and Murphy wrote a letter to legislators in both chambers, urging them to retain certain parts of both the House and Senate versions of the bill that bolster Buy America provisions and increase U.S. manufacturing, while asking them to reject parts of the Senate bill that would water down the Buy America provisions.
Lipinski, the senior member from Illinois on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, helped pass the bipartisan bill earlier this month. After its passage, Lipinski was appointed to serve on the conference committee that will shape the final bill.
Lipinski and Murphy believe that with this chance to pass the first long-term surface transportation funding bill in a decade, it is critical that any new law improve U.S. infrastructure and create jobs nationwide.
“We support provisions in both bills that increase the domestic content of rolling stock procured with Federal Transit Administration funds from 60 percent to 70 percent,” the duo's letter said. “This modest increase is phased in incrementally over the next five years and will ensure that equipment used and paid for by taxpayers is manufactured with a higher percentage of American-made materials. These provisions should be maintained in the final conference report, along with part of the House-passed bill which makes Buy America compliance an eligible activity for technical assistance and will help the transit community comply with these important requirements.”