Vukmir and Nicholson Oppose Baldwin "Buy American" Agenda

Jul 09, 2018

For Immediate Release
Monday, July 9, 2018
Contact: Brad Bainum, bradb@wisdems.org

Vukmir and Nicholson Oppose Baldwin “Buy American” Agenda

Vukmir and Nicholson last week came out against making sure federal tax dollars support American manufacturers and workers

MADISON — In case you missed it, Republican U.S. Senate candidates Leah Vukmir and Kevin Nicholson last week formally opposed U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s push to strengthen and expand “Buy American” requirements, such as those which mandate that federal tax dollars are spent here in the U.S., supporting American workers and manufacturers.

Thousands of Wisconsin workers depend on federal government contracts — economic activity that’s protected and bolstered by strong Buy American rules — but Vukmir and Nicholson are nevertheless siding with their corporate special interest backers and opposing a Made in Wisconsin economy and Baldwin’s Buy American measures that have even earned President Donald Trump’s “100 percent” backing

Capital Times: Vukmir, Nicholson split from Baldwin on ‘Made in America’ proposal

By Jessie Opoien, 7/7/18

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin was in Fond du Lac on Thursday to promote federal legislation she said would support Wisconsin jobs. 

Baldwin visited Fives Giddings & Lewis to highlight her “Made in America” legislation, which would extend the requirements of the 1982 Buy America Act to require additional federal infrastructure projects be completed with U.S.-made steel, iron and aluminum. 

“The federal government spends billions of taxpayer dollars on infrastructure projects that are not subject to Buy America requirements. The result is American taxpayer money is being spent to buy foreign products and support workers in other countries,” Baldwin said in a statement. 

Baldwin’s bill is cosponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, among other Democrats.

The proposal follows several other Baldwin efforts to require American-made materials be used in government projects. One bill would require U.S.-made iron and steel in public water infrastructure projects. Another would expand Buy American requirements for the federal government’s purchase of ships. 

During a visit to Wisconsin last year, President Donald Trump said he agreed with Baldwin “100 percent” on the concept of the water projects legislation. 

According to a Fond du Lac Reporter article, Baldwin said Thursday she believes Trump would sign the bill if it made it to his desk.

But the two Republican candidates vying to challenge Baldwin in November are skeptical of her proposal. 

A spokesman for state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told the Fond du Lac Reporter that Baldwin’s proposals favor “big-labor mandates and giveaways that drive up infrastructure costs for Wisconsin taxpayers.”

A spokeswoman for Delafield businessman Kevin Nicholson said Baldwin has supported “years of taxation, spending and trade policy that have burdened our nation with debt and disadvantaged American manufacturing and agricultural producers.”

“If Senator Baldwin was serious about helping Wisconsin industry, she would have supported President Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act, she would stop driving our nation into debt, and she would be pushing back on foreign tariffs in China and Canada that have long disadvantaged Wisconsin’s industry,” said Nicholson spokeswoman Ronica Cleary. 

Brad Bainum, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said it was “striking” that Vukmir and Nicholson opposed Baldwin’s proposal, but said it was “typical of their hardline commitment to a corporate special interest agenda.”