WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement denouncing the Senate for voting to pass H.R. 22, the surface transportation funding bill, which weakens important Buy America provisions that create and protect American jobs. The bill increases the $1 million Buy America threshold required by Amtrak to $5 million, allowing Amtrak to purchase supplies for 85% of the projects they have slated for FY 2015 from foreign companies.
“It’s crazy to think that Congress would choose to send taxpayer dollars to overseas companies. But that’s exactly what the Senate did today by passing a transportation funding bill that allows Amtrak to spend $308 million, in 2015 alone, on lower quality goods made by workers overseas instead of here at home,” said Murphy. “For years, Amtrak has been required to buy American-made materials and supplies for projects of more than $1 million. It was a simple and effective way to promote economic growth here at home. But today’s transportation bill weakened those Buy America provisions, permitting Amtrak to spend an exorbitant amount of taxpayer dollars abroad.
Murphy continued, “We should be doing everything in our power to create new American jobs, bolster our country’s manufacturing sector, and grow opportunities for the middle class, and one of the easiest ways for the federal government to do so is by ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used to purchase goods made by American workers at U.S. companies.”