SPECIAL TO THE HERALD PRESS
WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, introduced the American Jobs Matter Act, H.R. 479, on Thursday, saying the legislation will support American manufacturers and boost job creation. The bill is the House counterpart to Sen. Chris Murphy’s bill in the Senate, S. 26.
Murphy, who championed the American Jobs Matter Act as a member of U.S. House of Representatives, said he was “thrilled that the bill is staying in the ‘Fighting Fifth [District].’” The measure will require the U.S. Department of Defense to take into account the creation and retention of American jobs when issuing a contract. From 2007 to 2013, the DOD spent more than $700 billion dollars on manufactured goods, with over $150 billion spent on goods produced overseas. During the same period, the United States lost an estimated 1.7 million manufacturing jobs.
“I’m proud to join Senator Murphy in introducing the American Jobs Matter Act,” Esty said in a prepared statement. “It makes no sense to spend our taxpayer money funding jobs overseas when we could support jobs right here at home. Our failure to take job creation into account has led to misguided decisions by the U.S. Department of Defense, including their decision to buy Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan from Rosoboron Export, a Russian arms dealer.” Connecticut is home to more than 5,000 manufacturers, including hundreds of small suppliers — many family-owned — that employ thousands of workers. Esty said spending tax dollars on superior military equipment made in Connecticut will support manufacturing jobs at home while protecting national security.
“I look forward to working with Senator Murphy to pass this commonsense bill into law,” Esty said.
Murphy said he introduced the jobs act measure after being inspired by Fifth Congressional District’s hardworking manufacturers who, he said, have played a crucial role in creating new jobs, supporting communities, and accelerating the state’s economic recovery.
“Congresswoman Esty is a strong champion for manufacturers and she’ll help get this important bill one step closer to the president’s desk,” said the Senator. “Too many manufacturing jobs in Connecticut have been lost to foreign firms because the Department of Defense doesn’t give preference to American manufacturers when awarding defense contracts. That needs to change.”