Sen. John McCain's amendment to gut Buy America laws was soundly defeated in the U.S. Senate tonight. Additionally, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) passed an amendment simply restating that the Buy America language does not violate America's trade agreements. Here's Brown's statement:
"This will help ensure we are doing all we can to promote U.S. businesses and create jobs, which is the purpose of the economic recovery bill" Brown said. "I applaud Senator Dorgan's leadership and my Senate colleagues for putting American workers first. This vote affirms that Buy America provisions do not violate trade laws. It affirms that when we can, we should use U.S. tax dollars to create U.S. jobs. The next step is to focus on implementation and enforcement of these provisions as we work to strengthen our economy and rebuild our nation's middle class."
Count these votes as another big win for the progressive movement, and another win for the "Make Him Do It" Dynamic. Senate Democrats, joining with progressive movement allies like organized labor, consumer groups and the blogosphere, forced President Obama - possibly against his own will - to stand by his campaign promises to support Buy America laws.
We're 2-for-2 today, winning both the Buy America fight and forcing Obama to reverse his earlier opposition to executive pay limits. On the Buy America laws, we still have to make sure they survive the conference committee, and with the executive pay restrictions, we still have to make sure as many loopholes are eliminated as possible. But this is a big day and real progress.