WASHINGTON, June 15 — (PRNewswire) — Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) today won bipartisan approval to add a provision to the Department of Energy appropriation bill that requires the agency to compile data on its purchases of foreign made goods – with the aim of providing American manufacturers with information they need to compete as suppliers to the government.
"This is the start of a campaign to turn our nation's largest buyer of goods and services – the U.S. government itself – into a mighty engine that will spur American innovation and manufacturing," said Fattah, a senior appropriator on the House Appropriations Committee. "I intend to add this requirement to every appropriations bill, with the support of colleagues on both sides of the aisle who voted today to add this language."
Fattah, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, called on President Obama, during a June 2 meeting at the White House, to issue an Executive Order to all agencies to compile a similar list.
"We are creating a marketing list for American manufacturing, creating the opportunity for growth and job creation by showing our entrepreneurs what the federal government needs to purchase with our tax dollars," Fattah said. "We can fill these needs at home, with American workers and made-in-America products, instead of shipping all that business – all those jobs – overseas."
The language that was inserted into the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which the Appropriations Committee cleared for consideration by the full House, reads:
"The Committee requests a study to show what manufactured products are purchased on a regular basis by or on behalf of the Department of Energy and are not currently manufactured in the United States. An interim report is required no later than 180 days after the FY2012 Energy and Water Development bill becomes law with the final study submission no later than 365 days after the bill becomes law. The final study is to be shared with the President's Manufacturing Council, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Administrator and the Committee."
"Here's an example of how this can work: The United States is spending $20 billion on the power grid, and that will require a lot of transformers," Fattah said. "We developed transformers in the U.S. but they aren't manufactured here any longer. By showing American business how this huge purchasing opportunity is flying overseas, I'm hoping we can spur our entrepreneurs to restart this industry."
The manufacturing incentive provision was approved on the same day as an optimistic report on factory output. The Associated Press reported that factory output increased in May by 0.4 percent, the 11th time in the last 12 months that factories produced more goods than the month before, reversing a one-month downturn.
"American manufacturing is healthier than most Americans think," Fattah said. "We're on the rebound – not as quickly as we'd like – but the growth in our economy has been steady and consistent. By calling attention to the opportunities already available in government purchasing, we can spur even greater growth."
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah
|Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah