Call Now: Urge Your Senators to Put America Back to Work!
On January 28, the House passed a strong stimulus bill that included provisions that gave preferences to locally made iron and steel in transit projects and school buildings, and to locally made uniforms for the Transportation Security Administration. The Senate will vote this week on their stimulus package, which expands on some of these provisions. A pack of multinational corporations are trying to get the Buy America provisions stripped from the Senate bill. Tell your members of Congress to maintain and expand upon these provisions.
TAKE ACTION: Call the U.S. Capitol at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators.
Don't know who your Senators are? Just tell the operator what state you live in and ask them to tell you your two Senators' names and to connect you to the office of one of them. Once you have spoken to the first Senator's office, ask to be transferred to the other Senator from your state.
When you reach your Senators' offices, ask to speak to the person who is handling the stimulus bill, which is formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, then:
- Tell them, "I am a constituent and I'm calling to urge you to support the Buy America and Buy American provisions in the stimulus bill. It would be outrageous if you agreed to spend hundreds of billions of our tax dollars and did not direct some of that money to come back into buying American goods. Will our Senator support investment in our country and oppose any amendment that strips the Buy America provisions or narrows them?"
- Ask for your senators' position on the Buy America and Buy American requirements in the Senate stimulus bill. Ask for a written statement of their position to be sent you by email or regular mail.
- Use some of the talking points below; if you have a local or personal story that illustrates the harmful effects of the recession, please share it!
- The priority in the stimulus bill should be putting people back to work and reinvesting in our nation's infrastructure. The Buy America and Buy American provisions will ensure that our taxpayer dollars are used to do just that.
- Corporations that have offshored U.S. jobs are waging a misleading scare campaign, calling these provisions "protectionist." This isn't true: Buy America and Buy American do not raise tariffs – the definition of protectionism. Rather, they ensure that taxpayer dollars will be used to promote local job creation.
- Some have raised concerns that the provisions might conflict with our World Trade Organization obligations. This is misleading, and beside the point: all nations are searching for ways to put people back to work. In the longer term, we will have to renegotiate our unfair trade agreements to give countries the policy space to tackle job loss. But for now, the priority must be putting people back to work.
Want more info on the Buy America debate? Click here.
After you've called, tell us what the staff person said! Use the form below to let us know that you made a call about Buy America. If you are told that your Senators have a solid position one way or another, or if you are told anything interesting at all, let us know. This is critical to our ability to hold Congress accountable.