Visclosky Continues His Fight to Save Steelworker Jobs
Washington, D.C. – Late Wednesday, November 14, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations voted down Congressman Pete Visclosky’s amendment to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 Defense Appropriations bill that would have saved thousands of steelworker jobs.
Visclosky asked the Committee to approve $2.4 billion in emergency spending over three years to pay the healthcare benefits of retired steelworkers. This heavy financial burden costs the steel industry more than $965 million a year, and Visclosky’s amendment would have defrayed about 80 percent of those expenses. Visclosky’s plan would have given the steel industry much-needed cash flow, which would have helped slow the pace of job losses, bankruptcies and plant closures across the nation.
“I have been working very hard to save good-paying jobs,” Visclosky said. “I will keep fighting for immediate action to secure the jobs of working men and women in Northwest Indiana.”
Visclosky offered the same amendment to the Economic Stimulus Package, but was blocked 9-4 on October 23 by the House Committee on Rules. All nine Republicans on the committee voted against the amendment. He will now ask the committee to allow his amendment to be heard on the floor of the full House of Representatives, where he has previously received bipartisan support for steel. His amendment is similar to Title II of H.R. 808, the Steel Revitalization Act, which has 226 cosponsors, a majority of the House, and includes 45 Republicans.
“Our workers need immediate help,” Visclosky said. “I will keep working hard to pass this amendment and my entire steel package to save good-paying steelworker jobs.”