By a vote of 65-31, the U.S. Senate rejected an amendment offered by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that would have stripped the requirement to buy American for all spending covered by the stimulus package now being considered by Congress.

Led by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., the Senate previously included language mandating that all the iron, steel, and manufactured goods purchased in the public works portion of the stimulus bill be made in the United States unless an existing U.S. international obligation would open the bidding to foreign-made goods.

Noting that the United States has lost more than 4 million manufacturing jobs and has run nearly $5 trillion in trade deficits in the past eight years and hailing the Senate’s rejection of the McCain Amendment, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) Executive Director Auggie Tantillo said, “The purpose of the stimulus package is to create jobs. Had the Senate passed the McCain amendment, even more Americans would have been thrown of out work.

“If America wants to jumpstart its economy, the best way to do it is to start buying more American-made goods and services. It is only right for the U.S. government to take the first step,” Tantillo said.