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Illinois House Passes Bill To Compel State Agencies To 'Buy American'

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Illinois House Democrats passed legislation Wednesday that would compel state agencies to buy more American-made products.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, said the proposal he sponsored aligns with President Donald Trump’s focus on American manufacturing.

“I could just reference your president’s executive order regarding ‘Buy American,’ " he said. "This is saying our state taxpayer dollars should put our people to work and we should use the buying power of our state to create jobs and economic opportunity.”

Republicans, such as Steve Andersson of Geneva, like the idea, but say the state can't afford it.

“I think, in this day and age where the state is under such financial burdens, adding this additional element does not make sense at this time,” said Andersson.

?The proposal must still pass the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tom reports on statehouse issues for NPR Illinois. He's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. He graduated from Macalester College. Tom is from New York City where he also did stand-up and improv and wrote for the Awl and WNYC public radio.