Bustos makes push to have U.S. government only purchase flags made in USA

Online Staff Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., continued her push for American jobs by fighting to ensure all American flags are made in America by offering an amendment, which passed by a bipartisan voice vote, to the FY 2014 Homeland Security Appropriations Act (H.R. 2217).

The amendment was in response to concerns Bustos heard during her recent week-long veterans listening tour of Illinois, and it would ensure that all American flags purchased with funds from the FY 2014 Homeland Security Appropriations Act are made here at home.

I strongly believe that American flags should be made here at home in America, using American products,” Bustos said. “During my recent veterans listening tour of Illinois, I heard time and again from our veterans that they were disappointed that far too many American flags were actually made overseas, in countries like China. I’m pleased, and encouraged, that my amendment that would ensure that American flags are made here in America passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, and I will continue to fight to prioritize American workers each and every day.”

The Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security and even the U.S. Capitol are free to buy American flags that are only 50 percent made in America. Last Congress, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, was able to secure passage of S. 1188, the “All-American Flag Act” through the Senate, but unfortunately, the House never considered the measure.

According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the value of American flags imported to the United States last year was $3.8 million, with $3.6 million worth coming from China.

Bustos hopes this amendment is the first step in a larger effort to require that all American flags, purchased by the federal government, are actually made in America.

In April, Bustos introduced the American Jobs Matter Act, a bill that would direct the federal government to notify applicants applying for federal contracts that it may consider the impact on American jobs when deciding which bids to accept. The government would then be able to consider these details when determining which bidder should receive the American taxpayer-funded government contract. Bustos’ bill was incorporated into Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer’s “Make It In America” initiative, which seeks to promote American workers, jobs, innovation and infrastructure.

Video of Bustos’ floor speech offering the amendment can be found here.

Posted June 6, 2013

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