Senate Passes Merkley-Brown “Buy America” Amendment to Water Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment authored by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio to extend Buy America provisions to water infrastructure. The amendment, which was added to the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), will strengthen and support U.S. manufacturing by ensuring more American-made materials are used in water infrastructure projects. 

“If we don’t make things in America, we won’t have a middle class in America,” Merkley said. “American manufacturing companies create good, living wage jobs. We all benefit when our tax dollars go to create more jobs and success in America.”

“This is great news for Ohio workers and manufacturers. When we invest in American infrastructure, we should also invest in American manufacturing,” Brown said. “We know how to make things in this country and should use American taxpayer dollars to bolster domestic manufacturing as much as possible.”

For many years, Buy America provisions have established the basic principle that when we spend federal taxpayer dollars on public infrastructure projects, American businesses and workers should do the work. Backed by an open, competitive market-driven process, Buy America rules have provided the foundation for millions of miles of roads, bridges, light rail, and subways, and millions of good-paying jobs. 

The amendment expands those current standards for roads, bridges, and rail to cover WIFIA (Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act) federally financed water infrastructure projects.

Senator Merkley is a champion of American manufacturing. Last year, Senator Merkley held a statewide “Made in Oregon” tour to find out what is working for Oregon’s manufacturers and how we can expand their success.