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UPDATE: Highway Bill and Buy America
June 29, 2021 by NAPA Government Affairs

The House will begin debating the rule for the INVEST Act and then start to debate amendment packages. The House Committee on Rules met yesterday and decided that 115 amendments of the 262 amendments filed are allowed to be offered to the surface transportation bill. We do not know yet which amendments will be grouped together. But will later today. They will likely be grouped in a partisan way with acceptable amendments in groups as well.  

NAPA, working with NSSGA, PCA, NRMCA, AGC, and ARTBA, secured important changes to the Buy America language in the pending bill.  These changes will be included in the DeFazio Manager’s Amendment which will be part of the bill when it passes the House.   

The amendment requires the Secretary of Transportation to complete a lengthy study before issuing regulations on broadening Buy America to “construction materials,” 

The study must contain the following: 1) specifically address current domestic availability of the material; 2) supply chain impacts; 3) transportation and logistical impacts; and 4) estimated demand and cost differentials including state-by-state impacts.   The language also requires an Inspector General review of the study and issue a report to Congress on its findings.  

While the language does not exempt aggregates, cement, asphalt, polymers, and additives from Buy America requirements, it does mandate the Department of Transportation to consider the impacts NAPA has been raising before issuing guidance on the applicability of Buy America to construction materials.

Click here to view NAPA’s letter to all members of Congress urging a yes vote on the legislation while expressing concern with Buy America and the carbon pollution reduction program's lack of eligibility for paving activities.  This is an $8 billion new highway formula program.  

Click here to view the changes made by the Manager’s Amendment to Section 1112, Buy America.  Working with PDF, it’s not perfect but you can see the changes that were summarized above.     

The Senate is also picking up the pace.  Majority Leader Schumer's goal is to have the infrastructure bill drafted and ready to go to the floor by the week of July 12. 

 

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