From a press release and staff reports:
Congressmen Mike Thompson (CA-1) today led a bipartisan group of 22 U.S. Representatives in calling on House Leadership to require that every American flag purchased by the Federal Government be manufactured in the United States, from articles, materials, or supplies that are 100 percent grown, produced or manufactured in the United States. Currently the Federal Government is not required to buy American made flags.
“Every American flag our government buys should be made in America, by American workers with American materials,” said Thompson. “It is a slap in the face to all Americans to have their tax dollars spent on U.S. flags that are made overseas.”
In a letter sent to House Leadership, Thompson requested that language be included in the legislation to fund the federal government into Fiscal Year 2013 that mandates all U.S. flags purchased by the federal government to be made in America, by American workers, using American-grown and manufactured materials.
In July of this year, Thompson led a bipartisan coalition to secure a requirement that the Department of Defense buy American made U.S. flags.
The July agreement came during consideration of H.R. 5856, Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013, when Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-FL) and Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense agreed to address this issue and ensure that the Department of Defense only purchase American-made U.S. flags in the final version of the defense funding bill.
Both proposals are supported by Vietnam Veterans of America and the American Legion.
“The American Legion fully supports this effort and we appreciate Mike Thompson’s leadership in addressing this critical issue that is important to America’s service members, veterans and their families,” said Fang A. Wong, National Commander with the American Legion.
“Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) strongly supports Congressman Thompson’s efforts to work across the aisle to make sure that all American flags purchased by or through the federal government be entirely made in the United States of materials made in the United States,” said Rick Weidman, VVA Executive Director for Policy & Government Affairs.
There is already precedent for placing restrictions on the purchase of American-made American flags. Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs is required to only purchase American made flags for service members’ funerals.
Thompson, who currently represents Congressional District 1 is running for the newly redrawn Congressional District 5 seat in November. Benicia is part of the new CD-5. Thompson represented Benicia in the State Senate in the mid 1990’s.
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